Cuba became first country in the World to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis

Jul 3, 2015 11:00 IST

eliminate mother-to-child (vertical) transmissionCuba became the first country to eliminate mother-to-child (vertical) transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis in the World.

A validation in this regard was issued on 30 June by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In the case of HIV, Cuba became eligible for validation as less than 2 percent of children, whose mothers have HIV, are born with the virus since 2012. It is the lowest rate possible to achieve in any given community with prevention methods available today.

In the case of syphilis, Cuba’s achievement consists of registering fewer than 0.5 syphilis cases per 1000 live births per year. Between 2012 and 2013, the country reported 3 cases of congenital syphilis (zero in 2012 and 3 in 2013, for infection rates of zero and 0.02, respectively).

Cuba could achieve this remarkable feet with the strong integration of its Public Health’s HIV program with the maternal and child health program in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) of the WHO.

While vertical transmission of HIV takes place during pregnancy or childbirth or lactation, congenital syphilis occurs during pregnancy or at birth.

In addition to Cuba, other countries that may also have achieved vertical transmission of these sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and that may be in a position to request WHO validation include Anguilla, Barbados, Canada, Montserrat, Moldova, Puerto Rico, Thailand, and the United States of America.

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