While rates of HIV-AIDS are comparatively low in Cuba, public health programs in the country have seen 83 percent of patients diagnosed survive the deadly disease, according to Ministry of Public Health.
Of the estimated 26,048 Cuban's diagnosed with the disease in history, only 17 percent of those died according to report from the country’s Control and Prevention Program, released earlier this month.
There were an estimated 21,554 people living with HIV-AIDs on the island, a low rate compared to many other nations. Of Cuban’s aged 15 to 49, only 0.27 percent were suffering the virus, which mainly affects men.
The low infection and death rate of the disease - which there is no currently known cure, has been attributed to the 30 year National STI/HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention program. It includes treatment programs and drugs to help prolong the life of AID-HIV sufferers.
Education and prevention measures have also been touted as a continued success, where programs help to inform the public about risk, prevention strategies and letting people know about their HIV status. Sexual education, patient management and linking with civil society organizations within the country has also been key to successful prevention initiatives.
“Today more than 17,000 people are receiving antiviral treatment in the country, while 90% of HIV patients living in Cienfuegos are being treated,” Dr. Maria Isela Lantero told Granma. “We were the first country to validate the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.”
The island's medical program in addition to providing wide-ranging care for its citizens has also training thousands of doctors which have been sent to other parts of the world to help with emergency relief from natural disasters and the Zika virus.