WHO Validates Cuba As First Nation To Eliminate Mother-To-Child HIV, Syphilis Transmission

News outlets report on the WHO’s validation of Cuba as the first nation to eliminate mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission.

Agence France-Presse: Cuba becomes first nation to eliminate mother-to-child HIV
“Cuba on Tuesday became the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, the World Health Organization said…” (6/30).

The Guardian: Cuba first to ​eliminate mother-to-baby HIV transmission
“…The WHO’s director general, Margaret Chan, said it was ‘one of the greatest public health achievements possible’ and an important step towards an AIDS-free generation…” (O’Carroll, 6/30).

Inter Press Service: Cuba: Blazing a Trail in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
“…Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé said in a press release [Tuesday], ‘This is a celebration for Cuba and a celebration for children and families everywhere. It shows that ending the AIDS epidemic is possible and we expect Cuba to be the first of many countries coming forward to seek validation that they have ended their epidemics among children’…” (D’Almeida, 6/30).

New York Times: Cuba Wins WHO Certification It Ended Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
“…[T]he WHO allows countries that achieve only 95 percent of elimination targets to be certified; in 2013, five Cuban babies were born with HIV or syphilis. Cuba was the first country to request the certification, according to a spokeswoman for the Pan American Health Organization, the WHO’s Western Hemisphere branch. More than 20 others have since asked, she added, and those next in line are Bulgaria, Moldova, Turkmenistan, and Thailand…” (McNeil, 6/30).

Reuters: Cuba named first country to end mother-to-child HIV transmission
“…The PAHO and WHO credited Cuba with offering women early access to prenatal care, HIV and syphilis testing, and treatment for mothers who test positive. The two organizations began an effort to end congenital transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba and other countries in the Americas in 2010” (Hamre, 6/30).

ScienceInsider: Cuba nearly eliminates mother-to-child HIV infections
“…Although Cuba is a relatively small country with an extremely low prevalence of HIV — it has fewer than 4,000 HIV-infected women — Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa Etienne called this ‘a truly historic accomplishment.’ Etienne said Cuba’s elimination of MTCT of HIV and syphilis ‘provides inspiration for other countries’…” (Cohen, 6/30).

U.N. News Centre: Cuba becomes first country to halt mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis — U.N. health agency
“…[A]t present, an estimated 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant every year, and untreated, they have a 15-45 percent chance of transmitting the virus to their children during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding, according to WHO…” (6/30).

Washington Post: An important victory against AIDS: Cuba first to ​end mother-to-child transmission of HIV
“…The milestone is a key step toward eradicating the virus even without a cure, an idea that was once considered a pipe dream but that in recent years has been considered a realistic goal by world leaders…” (Cha, 6/30).

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