Brazil AIDS
A state-funded theatrical production in Brazil encourages the use of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV. Brazilian Dept.of Health

Brazil was once hailed for its successes in combatting the AIDS epidemic, but some critics say more still needs to be done.

"We are facing a crisis," Mara Moreira, a Brazilian woman who was diagnosed as HIV-positive 18 years ago, told the BBC. "Because of the false idea that the epidemic is under control and that all is well."

Moreira, 36, is part of a growing tide of criticism aimed at Brazil's strategy against AIDS, which focuses on treatment and public awareness campaigns.

Indeed, such a strategy was novel in 1996 when Brazil became the first developing country to offer free and universal access to anti-retroviral drugs needed to treat HIV. Coupled with well-targeted safe sex campaigns and the distribution of free condoms at major public events, the strategy was praised.

But with new HIV cases still emerging, 33,000 in 2011, critics are saying that treatment and public campaigns have not been enough.

One of the major factors in Brazil's growing amount of cases is that nearly one-third of people infected with HIV, 250,000 out of 630,000 total according to government estimates, are unaware of it.

Pedro Chequer, the UNAIDS coordinator in Brazil, told the BBC that the Brazilian government needs to focus on reaching out to this group to stem off new cases.

"The Brazilian Aids Program must be revisited. If we stay on the same path, there is no way we will reach universal coverage," he said.