HIV-AIDS Care and Prevention in Holguin

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In the province of Holguin, the HIV-AIDS epidemic reports an increase with 65 people infected between January and June this year, 15 more than in the same period of 2017, despite the educational and preventive policy of the Cuban State regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)..
 
For example, in Moa, 10 cases were diagnosed in the semester, against six in a similar period last year, with young people being the most affected, reported María del Carmen Guerrero, a specialist at the Municipal Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology that attends the program.
 
She pointed out that this mining region of Holguin reported 87 infected people since the beginning of the epidemic. Of them, 44 patients live in the municipality, 37 patients remain with treatment and one pregnant woman is being monitored. Meanwhile, 11 deaths due to AIDS have been reported.
 
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Guerrero explained that the Cuban Public Health System guarantees free antiretroviral to the sick person, although they are quite expensive. They also undergo consultations with specialists in Psychology, Internal Medicine and the social worker in the polyclinic of the municipality.
 
These patients are also visited by a commission composed of psychologists and other specialists in order to persuade them to take these medications, which reduce the viral load of HIV, improve their immune system to any disease and their quality of life.
 
Once the health system diagnoses a carrier of the disease, is attended by the provincial commission based in the city of Holguin, where the patient is evaluated for the treatment required; and the doctor and nurse of the doctor’s office where the patient resides, guarantees the monitoring according to the case.
 
After the laboratory of the Ultra Micro-Analytical System (SUMA) makes the diagnosis of HIV-AIDS, it is notified to those detected with the virus, and the specialist performs focus control with possible sexual contacts that -in a confidential manner- they declare to have had.
 
The specialist added that each person must prevent contagion by maintaining responsible sexual behavior, and be tested to know their HIV serological status through the medical test called Microelisa.
 
She added that this year health specialists provide prioritized attention to the young population, as cases of teenage pregnancy have increased. The purpose is to promote the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Hence, a counseling consultation with Health and Education specialists was held at the Polytechnic Center of La Playa.
 
However, she said, it is time for the Task Force to Combat and Fight AIDS in the municipality to provide an effective response, resulting in fewer infections.

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