HAVANA.- The number of people currently infected by HIV in the world totals more than 35.3 million, and 3.34 million of them are children, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The disease that had the planet in suspense when it appeared in the 1980s has December 1 designated as World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness of how to prevent it, cope with it and eliminate it.
Cuba welcomes the world celebration this year with many achievements in AIDS control, diagnosis and treatment, and can even offer its experiences in how to have HIV-free generations in the near future.
At the beginning of the year, the country made known the WHO report about the elimination of mother-tochild transmission of HIV/AIDS, an achievement that paves the way for eradicating the disease.
During a recent visit made to Cuba by the UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé to corroborate the country’s achievements in this sense said that the island is an example of how to have new generations without HIV.
The country has demonstrated it and will achieve it, because its main premise is to keep the human being as the center of attention, and that is the main element to improve people’s health, Sidibé told the press.
Cuba puts an emphasis on social factors and copes with polices targeting people at risk of contracting the disease, he added.
Hence why the UNAIDS director stressed that the island will be able to fulfill the 90-90-90 target in a short term. This means that 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, that 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive treatment, and that HIV transmission will be eradicated by nearly 100 percent, he explained.
The UN official considers that if the effort is put in, Cuba will help put an end to the disease as it is one of the countries that have committed to accomplish the target and the results in those three aspects are encouraging already.
SOLIDARITY AND ALLIANCES
Sidibé referred to the origin of the disease which soon became a world epidemic, noting that some years ago the world was overcome by fear. “The situation was disheartening. Now we have been able to revert that situation thanks to international solidarity and the creation of alliances.”
While in Cuba, the UNAIDS director visited various primary healthcare institutions such as the Pedro Kourí Institute and the National Sexual Education Center.
“With these visits I have understood the approach of the disease (in Cuba), which is treated from the community,” he said.
“In Cuba there is one doctor for every 137 persons. That is a dream I have cherished for many years. It is a sign of the development attained by the Cuban health system. In African countries there is one doctor for every 45,000 people,” Sidibé stressed.
The director also praised that the country provides all Cubans alike with full access to health, ensuring that those people living with HIV can get comprehensive, free healthcare and treatment.Share on FB Share on TT