Cuba protects rights of AIDS patients

Campaign News | Friday, 16 March 2007

Jobs and free medical care are guaranteed

Havana, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Cuba guarantees jobs, labor protection and free medical care to HIV AIDS patients, because the State prioritizes human development, AIN news agency reported on Tuesday.

Cuban experts attending the Second International Congress on Health and Work, being held in Havana until Friday, noted that the island nation provides high-quality medical care to those patients in order to improve their quality of life.

Participants in the meeting, attended by 500 delegates from 40 countries, learned that nearly 95 percent of HIV AIDS patients in Cuba are working. In addition, an operative group to counter and fight the disease was set up in conjunction with all agencies, institutions and organizations to supervise that policy.

HIV AIDS patients in the Caribbean Island receive free Cuban-made antiretroviral drugs, which have contributed to reducing the death rate from 24 per every 100,000 inhabitants in 2000 to only five deaths in 2006.

Dr. Jorge Perez Avila, deputy director of the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute, said that the Cuban-made generic drugs are as effective as those produced by leading world pharmaceutical companies.

Avila pointed out that the drugs have reduced opportunistic diseases, which total more than 600, by 70 percent over the past five years, adding that six Cuban-made antiretroviral drugs are guaranteed to more than 2,600 HIV AIDS patients.

Cuba, which ranks among the world s top 18 countries with the lowest AIDS rate and the lowest infection rate, has HIV AIDS incidence of 0.09 percent.

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