WHO declares Cuba first country to eliminate mother-to-child HIV, syphilis transmission

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday in Washington announced Cuba as the first country to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mothers to their babies.
Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General said the development was as a result of the world-wide push to treat HIV-infected women with antiretroviral medication during pregnancy.
She said the exercise reduced the likelihood of transmitting the virus to their unborn children to just over 1 per cent, from 15 to 45 per cent without treatment.
Chan said it was a major victory in the long fight against HIV and sexually transmitted infections and an important step toward having an AIDS-free generation.
She said WHO and the Pan American Health Organisation had been working with Cuba and other Latin American countries to boost prenatal care, provide HIV and syphilis testing and treatment for mothers and their babies.

dpa/NAN

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