Cuba is the first country to end mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission


Cuba has become the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child. The World Health Organization announced Cuba’s designation on Tuesday, calling it “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,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s general director, said in a statement.

There is no cure for AIDS, and health officials have worked to eradicate HIV infection, making Cuba’s breakthrough particularly significant, analysts said.

Every year, an estimated 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant. If untreated, they have a 14 to 45 percent of transmitting the virus to their children during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding, the WHO said.

The WHO said it started working with several countries in the Americas in 2010 to improve their access…

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