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Cuba Becomes First Nation to eliminate mother-to-child HIV
CUBA has become the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to baby, the WHO said, hailing the success as ‘one of the greatest public health achievements possible’. “This is a major victory in our long fight against HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and an important step towards having an AIDS-free generation,” said Dr Margaret Chan, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General.
“Eliminating transmission of a virus is one of the greatest public health achievements possible,” she said. “This is a celebration for Cuba and a celebration for children and families everywhere.
Every year, globally, an estimated 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant. Untreated, they have a 15-45 per cent chance of transmitting the virus to their children during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding. However, that risk drops to just over 1 per cent if antiretroviral medicines are given to both mothers and children throughout the stages when infection can occur.