Cuban scientists are continuing efforts to provide antiretroviral treatment to Cubans suffering from HIV/AIDS, with 81 percent of patients now being attended, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

Maria Isela Lantero, head of the Ministry of Health’s HIV/AIDS department, was quoted by local media as saying that scientists were testing the TERAVAC-VIH to reduce patients’ viral load and to improve their quality of life.

The specialist said that most sufferers in Cuba are over 30 and that 80 percent of them are men. Lantero added that large efforts were being made to ensure antiretroviral drugs would reach 90 percent of those affected.

According to the official, the government is dedicating many resources to ensure these drugs reach those who need them, including by counting on international cooperation.

“Each year, the number of people living with HIV and receiving treatment grows. In previous years, when we have found problems with the supply, we have always planned for alternatives to prevent treatment from being interrupted,” Lantero told the Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

Currently, Cuba provides HIV patients with a combined treatment of five antiretroviral drugs made in Cuba with other imported options, which have been certified by the WHO.

The aim is to keep levels of the virus in the blood low while controlling their growth. This allows to keep the patient from presenting any health complications, although HIV remains incurable for the moment.

Lantero said when this treatment is successful, the patients’ viral load dwindles to become undetectable.

In 2015, the WHO recognized Cuba as the first country in the world to have eradicated the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/