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Getting To Zero
2 Jul 2015 - 15:04

Justin Worland

Only two babies were born with HIV in the country 2013

Cuba is the first country to eliminate the transfer of HIV and Syphilis from mother to child, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday. Only two babies were born with HIV in the country 2013, a low enough number to meet the WHO standard. “This is a celebration for Cuba and a celebration for children and families everywhere,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, in a statement. The achievement is at least in part the result of a five-year program by WHO and the Pan American Health Organization to eliminate prenatal transmission of HIV in the region. The program has included testing for pregnant women and treatment for women who test positive. Effective treatment of HIV in pregnant women can reduce the risk of passing the disease to a child to just 1%, down from as high as 45% otherwise.

30 Jun 2015 - 10:42

A RECENT survey by the National Aids Council (NAC) has revealed that mining and farming communities have remained as hotspots for new HIV and Aids infections with people in the 30-49 age group being the most affected.


The NAC hotspot analysis and mapping report was jointly funded by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, NAC, UNAids and World Food Programme. “In 2006 and 2012, mining areas had the highest positivity rate. In general, positivity rates for farming areas, growth points and mining areas are high. It can be concluded that areas that are densely populated have high spread of HIV infections,” part of the NAC report read. “In 2012, the mining areas had a significantly high rate compared to other livelihood sectors, with a positivity rate of 24% up from 14% in 2009. This sharp increase in HIV-positivity among pregnant women in mining areas needs to be investigated further.”

29 Jun 2015 - 12:04


Sexual violence against children is a significant problem in many low- and middle-income countries. At least 25 percent of females and 10 percent of males experienced some form of childhood sexual violence in the majority of seven countries studied, according to findings from the Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS) released today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among the children who reported experiencing childhood sexual violence, fewer than 1 in 10 received supportive services, including healthcare, legal/security aid, or counseling support.

“Far too many of the world’s children experience sexual violence and have long-lasting physical and mental health effects,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “It is crucial that communities, governments, and families increase legal and society-wide efforts to protect children and provide healthcare, legal, and counseling support.”

The VACS data highlighted in this report focus on lifetime childhood sexual violence (before age 18 years) among female and male respondents’ ages 18 to 24 in seven countries (Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Haiti, and Cambodia).

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