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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Cuba highlights achievements in management and control of HIV / AIDS at the UN

Havana, June 10 - The Minister of Public Health José Ángel Portal highlighted as a positive indicator in the management and control of HIV / AIDS in Cuba that children under 15 years of age are the least affected by this disease.

In our country, AIDS-related mortality is progressively decreasing and the incidence of this disease shows a trend towards stabilization, said Portal when speaking at the High Level segment of the United Nations General Assembly on HIV / AIDS.

As part of the meeting End inequalities and move towards the end of AIDS by 2030, he said that the appointment in the midst of adversity gives us the opportunity to share the progress made and ratify our commitment to end this epidemic, as a legacy to present and future generations

After recalling that the island conceives the approach to the response to HIV with a public health approach, he explained that in 2015 the World Health Organization granted it the status of the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of the HIV virus. human immunodeficiency (HIV) and syphilis.

This condition, he pointed out, was revalidated in the years 2017 and 2019, and at present the fulfillment of such purposes is maintained, because in 2020, for example, Cuba did not report any HIV infection from mother to child, he said.

When listing the different actions to control the disease, the minister highlighted the implementation of an antiretroviral prevention, diagnosis and treatment program, in which around two million serological tests are carried out each year.

Of these, more than 300,000 pregnant women, with screening and antiretroviral treatment coverage that exceeds 99 percent, he stressed.

He also stressed that progress is being made in raising awareness in society in relation to the elimination of gender stereotypes and sexist patterns that disadvantage women. Today there is more understanding among our population of sexual diversity and towards people who live with this disease, he said.

He considered that the plan guarantees a higher quality of life for people with HIV, as well as the progressive reduction of infections with new infections, high treatment coverage has been achieved and efforts are being made to reduce the circulating viral load and increase the therapeutic adherence, getting closer to the 90-90-90 goal.

At another time he argued the meaning of confronting COVID-19 in times of a suffocating economic war and the application of inhumane unilateral coercive measures, which limit medical insurance for the management of this and other diseases.

Cuba in this scenario renews its commitment to continue guaranteeing the enjoyment of the right to health of all our people and the global and regional response to HIV / AIDS, Portal said.

Only integration, international solidarity and joint action between our countries and governments will ensure success in the face of the HIV / AIDS and COVID-19 pandemics, he added. (Text and photo: PL)