University of California, San Francisco Logo

University of California, San Francisco | About UCSF | Search UCSF | UCSF Medical Center

Home > Countries & Regions > Caribbean
Updated June 2011
Regional Overview
transparent image
Epidemiology and Trends
Health and Development Profiles
Guidelines and Best Practices
Policy Reports and Papers
Journal Articles
Patient and Community Education
International Organizations
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
Conferences and Events
News Sources and Periodicals
Comprehensive Indicator Report
Country Profiles
Antigua and Barbuda
Dominican Republic
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean
Population, 201342,000,000
People living with HIV/AIDS, 2012250,000
Women (aged 15+) with HIV/AIDS, 2012120,000
Children with HIV/AIDS, 201216,000
Adult HIV prevalence (%), 20121
AIDS deaths, 201211,000
nd = No data
Source: Population Reference Bureau & UNAIDS
Caribbean map
View detailed map
View full indicator report

These pages will be updated regularly. To suggest a document for inclusion on this page, please send an email to

Regional Overview

Abstracted from the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS, November 2010..

Epidemiology and Trends

The HIV prevalence among adults in the Caribbean is about 1.0% [0.9%-1.1%], which is higher than in other all regions outside sub-Saharan Africa. However, the number of people living with HIV in the Caribbean is relatively small - 240,000 [220,000-270 000] in 2009 - and has varied little since the late 1990s. The burden of HIV varies considerably between and within countries. The exceptionally low HIV prevalence in Cuba (0.1% [0.08%-0.13%]) contrasts, for example, with a 3.1% [1.2%-5.4%] adult HIV prevalence in the Bahamas. Meanwhile, 12% of pregnant women using antenatal facilities in one of Haiti's cities have tested HIV-positive, compared with less than 1% in the west of the country. In the neighbouring Dominican Republic, HIV infection levels also vary considerably, with HIV prevalence among communities near sugar plantations (the bateyes) about four times higher than the national average.

New infections have slightly declined between 2001 and 2009. An estimated 17,000 [13,000-21,000] people became newly infected with HIV in 2009, about 3000 less than the 20 000 [17,000-23,000] in 2001.

Unprotected sex between men and women - especially paid sex - is believed to be the main mode of HIV transmission in this region. The Caribbean remains the only region, besides sub-Saharan Africa, where women and girls out number men and boys among people living with HIV. In 2009, an estimated 53% of people with HIV were female. High infection levels have been found among female sex workers, including 4% in the Dominican Republic, 9% in Jamaica, and 27% in Guyana. Most countries in the region have focused their HIV prevention efforts on paid sex.

Health and Development Profiles
AIDS Epidemic Update Regional Summary - Caribbean
UNAIDS, April 16, 2008. [PDF, 253K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Fact Sheet: AIDS Epidemic in the Caribbean
UNAIDS, December 2006. [PDF, 43K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Fact Sheet: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Caribbean
Kaiser Family Foundation, November 2007. [PDF, 454K]
HIV/AIDS in Central America: An Overview of the Epidemic and Priorities for Prevention
Latin America and Caribbean Region, Global HIV/AIDS Program, World Bank, September 2003. [PDF, 207K]
Guidelines and Best Practices
Tratamiento antirretroviral de la infección por el VIH en adultos y adolescentes en Latinoamérica y el Caribe: en la ruta hacia el acceso universal
Pan American Health Organization, 2008. In Spanish. [PDF, 963K]
Caribbean Guidelines for the Care and Treatment of Persons with HIV Infection
Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Initiative, CAREC, July 2006.
Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Selected Common HIV-Related Opportunistic Infections in the Caribbean Region
Jonathan E. Kaplan. Topics in HIV Medicine, International AIDS Society-USA, January 2005. [PDF, 288K]
Tuberculosis and HIV in the Caribbean: Approaches to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prophylaxis
Jean William Pape. Topics in HIV Medicine, International AIDS Society-USA, January 2005. [PDF, 112K]
Building Blocks: Comprehensive Care Guidelines for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in the Americas
Pan American Health Organization, October 2002.
Policy Reports and Papers
State-Sponsored Homophobia: A World Survey of Laws Prohibiting Same-Sex Activity between Consenting Adults
Ottosson D. ILGA, April 2007. Comprehensive survey of countries around the world with laws prohibiting same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults. Many countries in the Caribbean from Antigua and Barbuda to Trinidad and Tobago are mentioned in this report. Report also available in French, Portuguese, and Spanish [PDF, 251 KB.]
Patients under Antiretroviral Treatment in Latin America and the Caribbean
Pan American Health Organization, August 3, 2003. In English and Spanish.
The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Social Safety Nets: What Can the Caribbean Expect?
Karl Theodore, Althea Dianne La Foucade. Health Economics Unit, University of the West Indies, July 2001. [PDF, 310K] Working paper presented at the 12th Annual Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Social Security, Kingston, Jamaica, July 23-25, 2001.
HIV and AIDS in the Americas: An Epidemic with Many Faces
PAHO, WHO, and UNAIDS, April 2001. [PDF, 369K]
20 Years of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Caribbean: A Summary
B. Camara. Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization, The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre, n.d. [PDF, 241K]
Journal Articles
Effectiveness of a training-of-trainers model in a HIV counseling and testing programme in the Caribbean region
Hiner CA, Mandel BG, Weaver M, Bruce D, McLaughlin R, Anderson J. Hum Res Health. 2009 Feb17;7:11. Includes commentary from the UCSF Institute for Global Health.
The HIV epidemic in the Caribbean: meeting the challenges of achieving universal access to prevention, treatment and care
Figueroa JP. West Indian Med J. 2008 Jun;57(3):195-203.
Patient and Community Education
LIVE UP: Love. Protect. Respect.
The Caribbean's first media-led campaign on HIV/AIDS, launched March, 2007.
International Organizations
The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC)
Regional center specializing in epidemiology, laboratory technology and related public health disciplines serving 21 member countries and administered by PAHO.
The Caribbean HIV and AIDS Alliance
Regional organization serving vulnerable populations and people living with HIV/AIDS through community action.
CDC Global AIDS Program
Provides financial and technical assistance through partnerships with communities, governments, and national and international entities working in resource-constrained countries.
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Resource page for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Portfolio of Grants
Regional HIV/AIDS programs supported by the Global Fund.
International Training and Education Center on HIV (I-TECH)
I-TECH works to establish highly responsive HIV/AIDS training centers and referral networks in designated regions worldwide.
Latin America and Caribbean Regional Health Sector Reform Initiative
LACHSR supports national reform processes to promote more effective basic health services. It uses a participatory approach, working in partnership with key decision-makers in the Region to build capacity to access health sector problems and to design, implement, and monitor reforms.
Pan American Health Organization
Regional office for the Americas of the World Health Organization.
Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP)
Established in 2001, the partnership aims to scale up the response to HIV/AIDS in the region.
Red Cross Caribbean AIDS Network (CARAN)
Network of local Red Cross agencies.
World Bank Latin America and Caribbean Page
Includes country briefs.
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network
Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (CRN+)
HIV InSite's Spanish language links page
Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network
Regional coordinating network linking groups promoting women's sexual and reproductive health and rights. In English and Spanish.
Conferences and Events
The Central American STD/HIV/AIDS Congress (CONCASIDA 2010), 6th Forum on HIV/AIDS/STDs in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the 6th Central American Gathering of People Living with HIV/AIDS
San José, Costa Rica, 1-5 de marzo, 2010.
Scaling Up National PMTCT Training Programs in the Caribbean Workshop
Nassau, Bahamas, September 27-30, 2005. Includes slide presentations and a workshop evaluation and final report.
News Sources and Periodicals
International Planned Parenthood Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR)
Resources focusing on HIV/AIDS issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Caribbean News Agency Online
Daily news from English-speaking Caribbean.
Latin America Network Information Center
Includes links to major newspapers and journals and magazines. Links to country-specific information as well as several databases. A service of the University of Texas at Austin. Also in Spanish and Portuguese.