JAMAICA OBSERVER – The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) says 17 countries and territories in the Americas, including the Caribbean, have supplied data indicating that they may have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
According to the report, “Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis in the Americas, Update 2015,” the 17 countries and territories reporting data consistent with dual elimination account for 34 per cent of all births in the region.
The countries are: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Cuba, Dominica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St, Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands.
“The countries of the Americas have made tremendous efforts to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV, cutting new infections by half since 2010,” said Dr Carissa F. Etienne, the Dominican-born PAHA director. “We can do more to protect mothers and children to achieve a generation free of AIDS.”
In 2014, PAHO said 96 per cent of pregnant women in Latin America and the Caribbean had at least one prenatal check-up, 75 percent were tested for HIV, and 81 percent of those needing treatment received it.