Cuba is an example for the world to follow on how to eradicate AIDS, the executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS said Friday.
"We are very proud of what Cuba has done in the fight against HIV/AIDS," said dirctoy Michel Sidibe, upon his visit to the Caribbean island. He further recognized the success of its “social approach” to confronting the illness, which has allowed Cuba to achieve important results and become the “vanguard” of public health care.
In June this year Cuba became the first country in the world to be recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
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According to the director, this was in large part because of the social commitment of the Cuban government, which could see Cuba becoming one of the first to reach the UNAIDS "90-90-90 target." These objectives seek to increase by 90 percent the patients who know their diagnosis, ensure access to medicines to 90 percent of affected people and increase to 90 percent the proportion of people with minimal viral load, to prevent transmission.
Sidibe said that the island already reached the first of these goals, with 85 percent of people with access to treatment and a 47 percent suppression of the virus.
He further added that the U.N. will make the necessary efforts to assist Cuba in becoming the first country to completely eradicate HIV/AIDS.
"HIV/AIDS is a global problem that requires global solidarity," the director said, who added that after his visit, the "model" of Cuba will serve to advocate "an approach that gives priority to people and not just focusing on the disease or hospitals."
"We will try to ensure that what we learn here is shared, so that the world understands what can be done in a rational way and what is the basis of the approach applied," Sidibe said.