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Cuba Health Reports

International Journal of Cuban Health & Medicine

The only English-language periodical about Cuban medical and public health policy, research, programs, and outcomes. Since 1999,
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News Briefs
Posted Aug 20, 2008

Cuba\'s Class of 2008: New Doctors for the Developing World
Cubans Among 20,000 Experts at Mexico City’s International AIDS Conference

Cuba's Class of 2008: New Doctors for the Developing World

 This summer 26,649 newly minted health professionals from Cuba and more than 30 other nations received their diplomas in graduation ceremonies at Cuba's 22 medical schools.  Included in the number of total graduates are 1,500 new doctors who began their studies at Cuba’s Latin American Medical School (ELAM) six years ago. ELAM offers full scholarships to students around the world to study medicine in Cuba. The majority of foreign students spend their first two years in Cuba studying at ELAM’s campus on the outskirts of Havana. During the remaining 4 years, these foreign medical students are integrated into classrooms with Cuban students in the 22 Higher Institute of Medical Sciences located across the country. Since 2005, ELAM has graduated 6,757 health workers from 56 countries.


In Havana, 782 new doctors, and 123 new dentists graduated from the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences during the first week of August. More than 300 of the newly graduated doctors in Havana are international students, among them eight of the 103 American students currently studying medicine in Cuba through ELAM. Since 2001, enrollment at Havana’s Higher Institute of Medical Sciences has increased by a factor of six, from 4,850 seven years ago to 32,000 students this year.


August 1, 2008: Agradecen norteamericanos formación recibida en Cuba...

August 2, 2008: Egresan más de 26 000 profesionales de la salud en Cuba... Granma Internacional

August 3, 2008: Celebran graduación de nuevos profesionales de la Salud...

August 4, 2008: Cuba Has Trained over 6000 Foreign Meds... Prensa Latina 


Cubans Among 20,000 Experts at Mexico City’s International AIDS Conference

 Sixty-million people in the world have HIV/AIDS, and the epidemic continues to grow in the world's poorest and most marginalized communities. This month important figures in Cuban public health were among the more than 20,000 experts from 180 nations who came together at the 17th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2008) in Mexico City to tackle one of the world's greatest health problems. The 46-member Cuban delegation included scientists, doctors, and activists who shared the country's experience in prevention, treatment, and care of people with HIV/AIDS in seminars, workshops and poster sessions.


According to the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, 9,039 Cubans had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS between 1986 and October 2007. Currently 81% of Cubans living with HIV/AIDS are men, and more than 80% of these men are men who have sex with other men (MSM).


The country’s HIV prevalence rate is the lowest in the Americas, and the 18th lowest in the world. Cuba's transmission rates are exceptionally low when compared to the rest of the Caribbean region where the regional infection rate of 2.5% is second only to sub-Saharan Africa (9%). Cuba has seen no dramatic increase in HIV transmission rates since the first case was diagnosed in 1985, but Rubén de Armas, of Havana's HIV/AIDS Prevention Group warns that the nation's capital has seen a slow but sustained increase in new infections among women and among men who have sex with other men.


Antiretroviral drugs are guaranteed free of cost to the more than 2,000 patients who require them in Cuba. Six generic antiretrovirals have been produced in Cuba since 2001. After five years of use, Cuban generics had achieved a 70% reduction in the 600 most common opportunistic infections. Pharmaceutical researchers in Cuba have announced that a lamivudine-estavudine-nevirapine combination, produced in Cuba with imported active materials, will soon be available. Cuba has offered to produce their antiretroviral drugs for other poor countries if another country agrees to finance production costs. Britain and France are reported to have shown interest in collaborating on the project.


For a detailed account of Cuba’s HIV/AIDS strategy see the new Oxfam International Report “Cuba's HIV/AIDS Strategy: An Integrated, Rights-Based Approach”

 August 8, 2008: Cuba: Is It a Model in HIV-AIDS Battle? Cuarteto vocal cubano en XVII conferencia sobre el Sida... Socialist Cuba’s AIDS Rate Lowest in the Americas... 

August 9, 2008: Llaman a revertir incidencia mundial del Sida... Juventud Rebelde 



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