Number of AIDS Deaths in Cuba Down Following Creation of New Treatments
November 27, 2002
AIDS-related deaths in Cuba have dropped significantly over the past 1.5 years following the development of several local treatments, according to Dr. Jorge Perez, director of the nation's leading AIDS center. "It was a political decision by Cuba to start the generic production of these medicines to save the lives of human beings," he said. Cuba began producing generic antiviral drugs for HIV in May 2001, said Perez, the director of the Pedro Kouri Institute in Havana. During the first 10 months of 2002, 66 people in Cuba died from AIDS-related causes, which was lower than expected, Perez said. Authorities anticipated a death rate of 25 percent for people with AIDS this year, but so far the death rate is 7 percent. Perez said 743 Cubans with AIDS are receiving the locally produced treatments. Since 1986, 4,390 Cubans have been diagnosed HIV-positive, and about 1,000 of them have died.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.