"The AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean and Central America has begun to have negative consequences for economic and social development in several countries, and continued increases in HIV infection rates threaten future development prospects. In contrast to other parts of Latin America, the mode of HIV transmission in several Caribbean and Central American countries has been primarily through heterosexual contact, making the disease difficult to contain because it affects the general population. The countries with the highest prevalence or infection rates are Belize, the Bahamas, Guyana, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago, with rates between 2% and 4%; and Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, and Suriname, with rates between 1% and 2%. The response to the AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean and Central America has involved a mix of support by governments in the region, bilateral donors (such as the United States, Canada, and European nations), regional and multilateral organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Many countries in the region have national HIV/AIDS programs that are supported through these efforts. U.S. government funding for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean and Central America has increased significantly in recent years. Aid to the region rose from $11.2 million in FY2000 to $33.8 million in FY2003. Because of the inclusion of Guyana and Haiti as focus countries in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), U.S. assistance to the region for HIV/AIDS increased from $47 million in FY2004 to an estimated $139 million in FY2008."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32001