At the end of 2018, AHF Panama is associated with “Asociación Viviendo Positivamente” for the common interest of supporting the Colon Health Region, through a collaboration to expand early detection and strengthen the treatment and quality of care offered to users of the Colón Antiretroviral Treatment Clinic.
Through support of specialized health personnel, search and rescue of abandoned patients, follow-up and incentives for patients under treatment at the TARV Clinic in Colón, AHF seeks to contribute to the Panamanian State in the coordinated response to the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, in line with national priorities and the global strategy 90% – 90% – 90% to end the epidemic in 2030.
In June 2018, the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health is signed and allows to expand operations in other regions of the country, as well as include more comprehensive strategies that encompass advocacy, prevention, early detection and linkage to health services, and support for treatment clinics, which seeks to ensure quality and human care for people living with HIV / AIDS.
In Panama, it is a concentrated epidemic, with 0.7% of the adult population between 15 and 49 years living with HIV. It is estimated that 26,000 people live with the virus, affecting groups of vulnerable populations.
The following key population groups are the most affected by HIV in Panama:
- Sex workers, with a prevalence of 2%.
- Men who have sex with men with an HIV prevalence of 13.06%.
- Transsexual people, with an HIV prevalence of 15%.
- Persons deprived of liberty, with an HIV prevalence of 6.4%.
- 26,480 people live with HIV but only 54% of them have access to antiretroviral therapy.
- In 2018, 82% of pregnant women with HIV received ART to avoid transmitting HIV to their babies during pregnancy and childbirth, and protect their own health.
- Since 2016, the Ministry of Health has provided free HIV treatment to all people living with HIV. Panama is making great efforts to increase the number of HIV tests, with a national campaign that was launched for the first time in 2015.