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June 2024

Int J Health Serv. 1993 ; 23(4): 685-702.

AIDS in Nicaragua: epidemiological, political, and sociocultural perspectives.

Low N, Egger M, Gorter A, Sandiford P, González A, Pauw J, Ferrie J, Smith GD.

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Berne, Switzerland.

The AIDS epidemic in Nicaragua is several years behind that in the United States and neighboring countries of Central and South America. A combination of events, including the isolation caused by the war of the U.S.-backed Contra army against the Sandinista government, the complete economic embargo imposed on Nicaragua by the United States in 1985, self-sufficiency for blood products, and a low rate of recreational injectable-drug use, have contributed to this situation. Since the Sandinistas were defeated in the general election of 1990, people have returned to Nicaragua from areas where HIV is more prevalent, such as Honduras and the United States. It is probable that many HIV-infected persons have now entered the country. Because of the high rates of sexually transmitted diseases and cultural factors such as "machismo," HIV is likely to spread rapidly by heterosexual transmission, unless effective, culturally appropriate education and sexually transmitted disease prevention programs are implemented now.

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