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Central America Region Country Profile

Central America Regional Profile

Discover more about CDC’s work in the Central America Region by
viewing our detailed country profile

Country Overview

Since 2003, CDC’s Central America Regional Office has partnered with the region’s Ministries of Health (MOHs) and the Council of Health Ministers of Central America to respond to the HIV epidemic. CDC’s collaboration with these regional partners is focused on strengthening both strategic information and prevention strategies targeting key populations as well as improving the quality of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) treatment services to people living with HIV (PLHIV). CDC also supports these countries to achieve the World Health Organization (WHO) End TB Strategy in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Agenda.

$3,560

Per Capita GNI

6.377 (2017)

Population (million)

15 Live Births

Under 5 Mortality

74 years (2016)

Life Expectancy

(Ages 15-49): 0.6%

Estimated HIV Prevalence

<1000

Estimated AIDS Deaths

11,601 (2017)

Reported Number Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

60

Estimated TB Incidence

7% (2016)

TB patients with known HIV-status who are HIV-positive

$4,060

Per Capita GNI (2017)

16.913 (2017)

Population (million)

29 (2016) Live Births

Under 5 Mortality

73 years (2016)

Life Expectancy

(Ages 15-49): 0.4% (2017)

Estimated HIV Prevalence

1,800 (2017)

Estimated AIDS Deaths

17,000 (2017)

Estimated Adults and Children living with HIV

17,153 (2017)

Reported Number Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

24 (2016)

Estimated TB Incidence

8% (2016)

TB patients with known HIV-status who are HIV-positive

87% (2015)

TB Treatment Success Rate

$2,130

Per Capita GNI (2017)

6.217 (2017)

Population (million)

20 (2016) Live Births

Under 5 Mortality

75 years (2016)

Life Expectancy

(Ages 15-49): 0.2% (2017)

Estimated HIV Prevalence

<500 (2017)

Estimated AIDS Deaths

4,800 (2017)

Estimated Adults and Children living with HIV

4,200 (2017)

Reported Number Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

48 (2016)

Estimated TB Incidence

5% (2016)

TB patients with known HIV-status who are HIV-positive

87% (2015)

TB Treatment Success Rate

$13,100

Per Capita GNI (2017)

4.098 (2017)

Population (million)

16 (2016) Live Births

Under 5 Mortality

78 years (2016)

Life Expectancy

(Ages 15-49): 1.0% (2017)

Estimated HIV Prevalence

<1,000 (2017)

Estimated AIDS Deaths

5,400 (2017)

Estimated Adults and Children living with HIV

12,947 (2017)

Reported Number Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

55 (2016)

Estimated TB Incidence

16% (2016)

TB patients with known HIV-status who are HIV-positive

82% (2015)

TB Treatment Success Rate


Strategic Focus

Strengthening Public Health Systems

HIV Services: CDC supports the provision of technical assistance for the implementation of Test and Treat in nine model health facilities providing high quality HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and diagnostic laboratory services in Luanda to showcase best practices, and replicate throughout the country.

Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP): CDC provides support to improve HIV disease surveillance, data quality collection, analysis and to build capacity for effective outbreak alert and response through providing support to the FETP.

Strengthening Laboratory Systems and Networks
CDC builds laboratory capacity, including diagnostic services for HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) and quality management systems. CDC supports laboratory strengthening through providing technical assistance and mentorship training on viral load (VL) monitoring, use of GeneXpert for point of care VL, early infant diagnosis (EID) and TB diagnostics at the model facilities. CDC supports laboratory accreditation process for two labs including the National TB reference lab and the National AIDS Program lab.

Strengthening Health Information Systems
Working closely with the National Aids Program and National TB Program, CDC provides support for the development and implementation of health information systems. CDC supports the use of a longitudinal electronic information system at the 9 model health facilities to effectively track individual patients through the continuum of treatment from HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation to pharmacy pick-up and VL monitoring.

Key Activities and Accomplishments

• Scale up of successful high-yield HIV testing modalities, including facility and community index testing, and identification and HIV testing of presumptive TB patients.

• MOHW’s universal ART treatment strategy, initiated in June, 2016, aims to provide antiretroviral treatment to all. CDC provides technical assistance to improve clinical services and ensure evidence-based modalities are implemented to enhance treatment initiation, adherence and retention for people living with HIV (PLHIV).

• The PMTCT program is one of Botswana’s success stories. It was grounded in CDC’s research findings. Now, CDC’s technical assistance provides training, mentoring and strengthening of existing clinical systems to support pregnant HIV-positive mothers and their HIV-exposed babies.

• Cervical cancer technical assistance is aimed to support the MOHW to scale up capacity in preventing cervical cancer in PLHIV. Capacity building includes policy development, training, and mentorship.

• The national Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) program was launched 2009. CDC supports the SMC program through technical assistance, service delivery, and demand creation.

• CDC strengthens the MOHW’s data systems and use by providing expertise and technical assistance to enhance data completeness and quality, improve surveillance systems, and increase data use.

• In collaboration with the MOHW and PEPFAR, CDC provided technical assistance for the construction and equipping of the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL). The NPHL was built to establish laboratory capacity for routine surveillance and response to public health emergencies; to improve the availability, quality, and use of laboratory data for evidence-based decision making and planning in support of routine surveillance and epidemiologic investigations; and to foster collaboration between human, animal and environmental health laboratories. The NPHL hopes to provide a forum to promote partnerships as Botswana strives for a One Health approach to healthcare.

• Results from CDC’s BCPP study led to innovative testing, linkage to treatment, and retention strategies. Lessons learned in heath information system challenges, poor documentation of viral load testing, and other key operational and research questions have been rapidly translated into programs for maximum impact.


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TB is the #1 killer of people living with HIV. TB preventative treatment protects those with HIV from contracting TB Disease. it’s effective, it’s affordable. it saves lives

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CDC study provides new evidence that Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis is set to rise in some of the world’s highest burden countries and suggests that it will increasingly be transmitted from Person to Person

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CDC’s innovative efforts to Find, Cure, and Prevent TB are creating a safer America and a safer world.

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