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Cuba becomes first country to end mother-to-child HIV, syphillis transmission

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 01:11

The World Health Orgnization says Cuba has become the first country in the world to end the transmission of HIV and syphillis from mothers to children. Diane Hodges reports.

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The World Health Organization says Cuba has reached one of the greatest public health milestones possible. It has ended the mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. At a news conference in Havana, W-H-O representative Jose Luis di Fabio praised Cuba's health system. (SOUNDBITE)(English) WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REPRESENTATIVE JOSE LUIS DI FABIO, SAYING: "Cuba has the diagnostic measures, it has the health system that permits all mothers to be identified, tested and, in the event of testing positive, universal access to the anti-retrovirals." UNICEF Representative Anna Lucia d'Emilio says Cuba's achievement shows that ending the AIDS epidemic is possible. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNICEF REPRESENTATIVE ANNA LUCIA D'EMILIO, SAYING: "It means we are in a world that is getting closer to being totally free of HIV. This is our dream and thanks to the efforts that Cuba has made, they are demonstrating that it is possible." Around the world, about one-point-four million women with H-I-V become pregnant each year. Without treatment, up to 45-percent of them will transmit the disease to their children. WHO officials hope Cuba will be the first of many countries to change that statistic.

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Cuba becomes first country to end mother-to-child HIV, syphillis transmission

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 01:11