According to Abbreviationfinder, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is often abbreviated as AIDS.
AIDS in Cuba
According to estimates by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), at the beginning of 2003 there were 42 million people living with HIV / AIDS in the world, 5 million of whom had been infected in the last twelve months, without count the more than 26 million humans who have already died from this cause since the beginning of the epidemic in 1981.
Cuba shows a favorable situation, in relation to most of the countries of the world, with a prevalence of less than 0.1. Four essential factors have contributed to this:
- Existence of a political will of the government to support with resources everything that is necessary to implement intervention strategies in accordance with our national reality.
- Strength of the National Health System.
- Creation and operation of the Operational Groups for the Confrontation and Fight against AIDS (GOPELS), which materialize the intersectoral fight against the epidemic.
- Participation of the population, in an active way, in the different educational actions.
Task Force to Fight and Fight AIDS (GOPELS)
It is the highest level government body that plans, conducts, monitors and evaluates the national response to the epidemic in the country. Chaired by the Minister of Public Health, it is made up of all State agencies and organizations and non-governmental organizations.
With similar representation and functions, there is a GOPELS in each province and municipality of the nation.
This intersectoral group was created in 1986 with the purpose of drawing up policies to face the health situation caused by the appearance of the HIV / AIDS epidemic in Cuba.
In 2008, GOPELS exists in the 169 municipalities of the country, which encourages the exchange of experience in terms of prevention actions carried out by different sectors. It also gains awareness in the prevention of HIV / AIDS inside and outside of them.
GOPELS is made up of the following bodies and organizations:
- Council of State
- Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba
- Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba
- Commander-in-Chief Support Group
- Ministry of Public Health
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Higher Education
- Ministry of Labor and Social Security
- Ministry of Justice
- culture Ministry
- Internal Commerce Ministry
- Ministry of Interior
- Ministry of Tourism
- Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
- Ministry of Construction
- Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (Medical Services).
- Revolutionary National Police
- People’s Supreme Court
- Attorney General of the Republic of Cuba
- Cuban Institute of Radio and Television
- National Reference Laboratory
- Center for Health Promotion and Education
- National Center for Sex Education
- Center for Psychological and Sociological Research
- Popular Camping
- Federation of University Students
- Student Federation of Secondary Education
- Union of Young Communists
- Committees for the Defense of the Revolution
- Federation of Cuban Women
- Social Prevention Commission
- National Association of Small Farmers
In 1986, the National HIV / AIDS Prevention Program was implemented, which contains four components in order to reduce prevalence rates:
- Epidemiological surveillance
- Educational component
- Medical care
Care for people living with HIV, which at the beginning of the epidemic was only sanatorial, as of 1993 was extended to outpatient care. Once diagnosed, they receive the course called Learning to live with HIV, specialized care according to their needs, Social Security benefits if required and maintain their employment relationship.
Cuba has made great efforts to improve the quality of life of these people; For this, resources are invested in the production of antiretroviral drugs since 2001.
The increase in the quality of life of people living with HIV (PLHIV) has been evident in the free access to medicines, the availability of diagnostic means to ensure their follow-up and the measures taken to reinforce their diet and care, This is reflected in the reduction of AIDS cases, a decrease in mortality and an increase in the number of years of life after infection. Likewise, a protocol is being worked on for the development of a vaccine candidate.
The mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV constitutes one of the problems that professionals dedicated to caring for PLHIV show the greatest concern, given the ethical dimension it acquires in the context of AIDS. Maintaining the reproductive function is and will be, a controversial issue and in turn of great importance, for which the professionals must show a high level of technical preparation and a high human sensitivity.
In 2000, the Expanded Response to the Epidemic was prepared for the different social sectors and in 2001, the National Strategic Plan.
The National Program, for its part, is designed so that all people without distinction of sex, age, social origin or sexual preference, have access to health promotion and prevention services. The section dedicated to HIV / AIDS of Cuba’s second report on the fulfillment of the Millennium Goals shows that a group of them are fully achieved, and that in others progress is relevant and work is being done to achieve them within the expected timeframe, under the motto A better life for all with the participation of all.
Because it is difficult to face a problem so linked to complex human behaviors, such as sexual behaviors, the development of the educational component of the National Program for the Prevention and Control of HIV / AIDS has been prioritized.