Guaranteed treatment in the public healthcare system has helped reduce HIV infections by 16% throughout Brazil in the last four years. In addition, the country has recorded the largest drop in mortality in 2017 after the introduction of the so-called “AIDS cocktail” in 1995. The figures are part of the new Epidemiological Bulletin issued by the former Ministry of Health, Gilberto Occhi, during a ceremony celebrating the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, in November.

During the campaign’s launch ceremony, health surveillance secretary Osnei Okumoto announced that the Brazilian Unified Healthcare System (SUS) will offer free self-tests for the HIV virus starting in 2019. At first, 400,000 self-tests will be available in public health units that already offer rapid testing. The expansion follows a pilot distribution project conducted by the Ministry in a few cities. Currently, only the private health-care network offers self-tests.