May 8, 2012
Cuba Has AIDS Epidemic Under Control, Awaits 'Test and Treat'
Cuba has had great success in controlling its AIDS epidemic,
but the island nation is still struggling to transition its patients into care,
The New York Times reports. Though Cuba is known for sex tourism and it has one
of the most genetically diverse epidemics outside Africa (with 21 different HIV
strains, compared with one strain in the United States), the island has one of
the world’s smallest epidemics, with an infection rate of 0.1 percent (six
times less than the U.S. rate). Cuba has been able to contain the virus through
free universal basic health care, a high rate of HIV testing, a rigorous free
condom program and mandatory sex education. With such conditions, experts said,
Cuba would be an ideal place to implement the new “test and treat” concept,
which theoretically could significantly reduce HIV rates by placing
HIV-positive people on meds (the meds also make people less infectious by
lowering their viral loads). However, only about half the 11,000 Cubans living
with HIV are on treatment, and the island is struggling to find funds for treatment.
To read the Times article, click here.
Search: Cuba, HIV, AIDS, test and treat, epidemic, health care, universal health care
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