/   ISSN 1607-6389
LATEST_UPDATE_ON Fri, 17 Nov 2017 - 11:43
Summer Holiday, Prevention is the Key to Good Health

mitosvih.jpgOn summer holiday, young people and the general population meet new friends in walks, trips and festivities, scenarios conducive to chance and casual sex, often without proper protection, which has led to many people to acquire a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and HIV.

Holguin is among the provinces with the largest number of people living with HIV in the country. At the end of 2016, it experienced the largest increase of new diagnosed cases.

Currently, there are patients with HIV-AIDS in the 14 municipalities and health areas of the territory; however, Holguín, Mayarí, "Frank Pais", Banes and Moa are those with a higher percentage of patients.

According to data from the Provincial Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology, this northeastern province, one of the most populated in Cuba, for every 400 men aged 15-49, one lives with HIV, while other STIs have a tendency to increase in the last decade, such as syphilis.

These data are very worrying, but even more are the results of a recent research conducted in two health areas of the Holguin municipality, where it was found that 16.1 percent of the women studied were carriers of papillomavirus (HPV) and 75 percent of them predominated oncogenic genotypes.

It confirms the need to increase actions aimed at promoting prevention efforts that include, in addition to maximizing the benefits of antiretroviral treatment for people already living with the virus, conducting counseling and providing tests in different scenarios so that the population knows its HIV status, among others.

Whether in summer or at any stage of the year HIV prevention does not depend on achieving changes in individual behavior, it is also up to society to promote responsible sexual education in the general population and also in individuals with the probability of being exposed to or transmitting HIV, including men who have sex with men, young people, women and HIV patients themselves.

Cuba has shown what can be achieved in terms of prevention, based on the political will of the government and the work of different sectors. For example, in June 2015 the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) announced Cuba as the first country on the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and syphilis, so it is imperative to look for new ways and implement other formulas to begin sex education from an early age, as a key element in strategies to prevent teenage pregnancies and STIs.

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