Breaking News
October 17, 2018 - Network of doctors identify the cause of 31 new conditions
October 17, 2018 - Notable improvement in brain cancer survival among younger patients but not much for elderly
October 17, 2018 - Scientists shed light on roles of transcription factors, TP63 and SOX2, in squamous cell carcinoma
October 17, 2018 - Costs of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program may be higher than expected reimbursement
October 17, 2018 - Misuse of prescription opioids or benzodiazepines associated with suicidal thoughts
October 17, 2018 - C-Section Rates Have Nearly Doubled Since 2000: Study
October 17, 2018 - Talking to Your Kids About STDs
October 17, 2018 - New classification of periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions
October 17, 2018 - Herbert D. Kleber, Pioneer in Addiction Treatment, Dies at 84
October 17, 2018 - Health effects of smoke-filled atmosphere
October 17, 2018 - Down syndrome may hold important clues to onset of Alzheimer’s disease
October 17, 2018 - A special report on US’ aging societies
October 17, 2018 - Birth mode may have acute effects on neurodevelopment, study suggests
October 17, 2018 - Global health innovation system fails to deliver affordable treatments to patients, says report
October 17, 2018 - Simple, inexpensive test quickly detects antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’
October 17, 2018 - New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins
October 17, 2018 - Visible and valued: Stanford Medicine’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Forum
October 17, 2018 - HVP vaccination not linked with rise in teen risky sex
October 17, 2018 - Potential ‘early warning markers’ for sepsis discovered
October 17, 2018 - Who knew? Life begins (again) at 65
October 17, 2018 - Application of blood pressure guidelines ups treatment
October 17, 2018 - Stanford researchers find that small molecule may help treat enzyme deficiency
October 17, 2018 - Speed Cameras Save Money and Lives in New York City
October 17, 2018 - Men who conform to ‘the man box’ more likely to consider suicide and violence
October 17, 2018 - Researchers aim to create more authentic organoids for drug testing, transplantation
October 16, 2018 - New blood test for pediatric brain tumor patients offers safer approach than surgical biopsies
October 16, 2018 - Age-related estrogen increase may be the culprit behind inguinal hernias in men
October 16, 2018 - Skills-Based Intervention Did Not Cut Systolic BP After Stroke, TIA
October 16, 2018 - Researchers uncover new role of TIP60 protein in controlling tumour formation
October 16, 2018 - Behind the scenes of a lifesaving heart surgery
October 16, 2018 - ‘To See the Suffering’
October 16, 2018 - Drinking concentrated rosemary extract can boost memory by up to 15%, shows research
October 16, 2018 - Medicare Advantage riding high as new insurers flock to sell to seniors
October 16, 2018 - NHS tackles prescription fraud to save millions
October 16, 2018 - New molecular switch may help develop sophisticated photomedications
October 16, 2018 - Improving access to behavioral health screenings for pregnant and postpartum women
October 16, 2018 - Health Highlights: Oct. 12, 2018
October 16, 2018 - Study holds promise for new pediatric brain tumor treatment
October 16, 2018 - Patient advocate uses MRI scans to create art and spark conversations about life with illness
October 16, 2018 - Fish oil based diets may suppress growth and spread of breast cancer cells
October 16, 2018 - Number of VHA facilities offering acupuncture has increased rapidly
October 16, 2018 - Influential Leapfrog Group jumps in to rate 5,600 surgery centers
October 16, 2018 - HIV-infected infants more likely to acquire congenital cytomegalovirus infection
October 16, 2018 - Study pinpoints new marker that can predict Crohn’s disease subtype
October 16, 2018 - Simple procedure could be efficacious intervention for failed back surgery
October 16, 2018 - New research identifies modifiable dementia risk factor in elderly people
October 16, 2018 - Zebrafish study uncovers molecular ‘brake’ that helps control eye lens development
October 16, 2018 - Overlapping copy number variations underlie autism and schizophrenia in Japanese patients
October 16, 2018 - Early menopause and diabetes may reduce life expectancy
October 16, 2018 - Majority of Americans’ ancestry can be traced through existing DNA databases
October 16, 2018 - Patients coerced into mental health care less likely to perceive treatment as effective
October 16, 2018 - Healthy elders can consume walnuts without having negative impact on weight gain, finds study
October 16, 2018 - Interactive robot helps older people exercise and detects underlying health problems
October 16, 2018 - What you need to know about autism spectrum disorder
October 16, 2018 - Antidepressants can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease
October 16, 2018 - Study uncovers important role of PRMT1 in dilated cardiomyopathy
October 16, 2018 - Nutritional quality of breakfast linked to cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in children
October 16, 2018 - Study uses novel approach to investigate genetic origins of mental illnesses
October 16, 2018 - Scientists develop dual anthrax-plague vaccine
October 16, 2018 - Poor Outcomes for Hispanic Infants With Congenital Heart Dz
October 16, 2018 - Global study finds youngest in class more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
October 16, 2018 - Researchers sequence two selfish genes in the fungus Neurospora intermedia
October 16, 2018 - Survey results highlight the need for better communication between patients and HCPs about bacterial vaginosis
October 16, 2018 - Researchers develop fibrin-targeting immunotherapy to protect against neurodegeneration
October 16, 2018 - Researchers create open access database on healthy immunity
October 16, 2018 - Rice University chemist wins big award to study small surfaces
October 16, 2018 - Study finds 43% drop in stroke rate
October 16, 2018 - Researchers identify basic relationships of cell cycle and cellular senescence in the placenta
October 16, 2018 - UA professor receives NSF grant to develop antifouling materials for medical implants
October 16, 2018 - Obesity Doubles Odds for Colon Cancer in Younger Women
October 16, 2018 - Adults with ADHD not constrained in creativity
October 16, 2018 - Raising visibility for people and students with chronic illness and disability
October 16, 2018 - Allele awarded NIH grant to develop nanoantibody therapies for treatment of sepsis
October 16, 2018 - Only 59% of young adults undergoing surgery are fluid responsive
October 16, 2018 - Research points to potential new treatment for hearing loss
October 16, 2018 - MDI Biological Laboratory receives $1.2 million SEPA grant to promote data literacy
October 16, 2018 - Vast majority of dementia cases may arise from spontaneous genetic errors
October 16, 2018 - New project aims to deliver fast, effective treatment for autoimmune rheumatic diseases
October 16, 2018 - Study identifies molecular switch that controls fate of milk-producing breast cells
October 16, 2018 - Research shows diet has little influence on precursor to gout
WHO certifies elimination of mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission in six Caribbean territories

WHO certifies elimination of mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission in six Caribbean territories

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The World Health Organization has validated Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Saint Kitts and Nevis as achieving dual elimination

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Saint Kitts and Nevis were today certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

“This elimination is the result of our strong political commitment to public health and of making the health of mothers, children and families a regional priority,” said Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis. Over the last six years the Caribbean has succeeded in reducing new HIV infections in children by more than half. “This is an amazing achievement given the high rates of HIV in the past, and we intend to improve on this success story even more in the future.”

Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Regional Director for the Americas of WHO, said “This elimination is a remarkable achievement that puts the Americas at the forefront of the global effort to ensure that no child is born with HIV or congenital syphilis”. “With political commitment, stronger health systems, and timely prevention, diagnosis and treatment, we can achieve great changes,” she added.

“UNAIDS congratulates the six states and territories on this important achievement,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “All countries should follow their example and ensure that every child has an HIV-free start to his or her life.”

In 2015, Cuba, another Caribbean island, became the first country in the world to receive validation from WHO for having achieved elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Subsequently, Thailand and Belarus were also validated as having achieved dual elimination, while Armenia received validation of its elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the Republic of Moldova was validated for the elimination of congenital syphilis.

Since the launch in 2010 of the Regional Initiative for the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Congenital Syphilis in Latin America and the Caribbean—coordinated by PAHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with support from other regional partners—new HIV infections have been reduced in the Caribbean by 52% among children, from 1800 in 2010 to fewer than a thousand in 2016. Reported cases of congenital syphilis, meanwhile, remain below the goal of having no more than 50 cases per 100,000 live births, although they have not declined since 2010, and it is likely there is underreporting of cases.

“The elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis is not just a dream; it’s an achievable goal,” said Maria Cristina Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Today we can say we are closer to ensuring an AIDS-free generation”.

In the Caribbean as of 2016, 74% of pregnant women living with HIV, 64% more than in 2010, had access to antiretroviral therapy to protect their health and significantly reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus to their children during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. The increased access to treatment contributed to a 52% reduction in the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV between 2010 and 2016, which is now at 9%, still higher than the target of 2%.

Other changes in the health sector that have contributed to this progress include intensive participation by both the public and private health sectors, led by the ministries of health, in the implementation of comprehensive maternal and child health services, with an emphasis on universal coverage and quality antenatal and prenatal care. They also include expanded testing to ensure early detection and immediate treatment for both HIV and syphilis, laboratory networks of guaranteed quality in accordance with international standards and the implementation of essential measures to guarantee the human rights of women living with HIV.

The elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis is an important milestone for ending AIDS and sexually transmitted infections as public health threats by 2030, commitments endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly and by the World Health Assembly.

“The validation for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis sends a strong message that the Caribbean is making remarkable inroads to achieving the goal of an AIDS-free generation and the achievement directly aligns with achieving our vision and objectives,” said Dereck Springer, Director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS. “The spread of the disease from mothers to children is being halted, but elimination status must be maintained and other Caribbean countries must strengthen their services with the goal of receiving validation from WHO,” he added.

Other PAHO Member States in the Caribbean are participating in the formal validation process, and it is expected that more will be recognized for their achievements in 2018.

Spotlight on HIV prevention

This week, PAHO and UNAIDS launched their first joint report on HIV prevention in the Americas, entitled HIV Prevention in the Spotlight: A Health Sector Analysis in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report shows that the number of new HIV infections among adults remained stable in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2010 and 2016, at about 120,000 new HIV infections annually. The report urges countries to step up the implementation of a comprehensive package of interventions to prevent new HIV infections for key populations, so as to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

Among the report’s specific recommendations is expanded access to HIV self-testing and diagnosis of other sexually transmitted infections, the provision of pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis as recommended by WHO, treatment for all people living with HIV, and eliminating discrimination.

HIV and syphilis in the Caribbean in 2016*

  • 310 000 [280 000–350 000] people living with HIV.
  • 64% [51–74%] of people living with HIV know their status.
  • 81% [64– >85%] of people diagnosed with HIV on antiretroviral therapy.
  • 67% [53–77%] of people on antiretroviral therapy have a suppressed viral load.
  • 18 000 [15 000–22 000] new HIV infections.
  • 9400 [7300–12 000] AIDS-related deaths.
  • 1.25 million live births in 2014 in 31 Caribbean countries.
  • 10 000 [8700–12 000] children up to 14 years of age living with HIV, 29% less than in 2010.
  • <1000 [<1000–1000] new HIV infections among children up to 14 years old in 2016, 52% less than in 2010.
  • 11 000 [9000–13 000] new HIV infections prevented among children up to 14 years old from 2010 to 2016.
  • 97% of women attend at least one antenatal check-up, and 94% of deliveries took place in hospitals in 2016.
  • 78% of pregnant women were tested for HIV in 2016, 35% more than in 2010.
  • 74% [65–84%] of pregnant women living with HIV are on antiretroviral therapy, a 64% increase since 2010.
  • 9% rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 52% less than in 2010.
  • 96% coverage of testing for syphilis among pregnant women who had at least one prenatal visit, stable since 2010.
  • 80% of pregnant women diagnosed with syphilis received adequate treatment, stable since 2010.
  • 1 case of congenital syphilis every 10 000 live births in 2016 according to data from 21 countries, stable since 2010.

* Source: Global Monitoring of AIDS 2017, UNAIDS and data directly reported by countries to PAHO.

WHO validation process

The validation process begins with a request from a country to PAHO for the validation of the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Then, an independent Regional Validation Committee is formed to carry forward the process, using the global validation standards recommended by WHO.

In the case of these Caribbean states and territories, the members of the regional committee were experts from 10 countries of the Americas, who reviewed the reports of each state and carried out virtual and in situ evaluations in four key areas: health programmes and services, data and information systems, laboratory quality and human rights, gender equality and community participation.

On the recommendation of the regional committee, the Global Validation Advisory Committee conducted a second review and recommended to the Director-General of WHO the validation of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Saint Kitts and Nevis for the achievement of the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis as a public health threat.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles