Cuba, a relatively poor, socialist, developing country has the lowest rate of HIV infection in the Caribbean subregion and a rate among the lowest in the world. Yet when we look at the published explanations for this, outside Cuba, we face a wall of controversy and disdain. A fair amount of the criticism seems due to ideological wars and the economic blockade by the United States of America imposed on Cuba. The latter certainly undermines communication, scientific exchange, and understanding.
This paper takes a historical perspective on Cuba’s achievements in HIV/AIDS control, seeking to identify key elements of its relative success. The analysis covers international literature, Cuban medical reports, epidemiological data, and current health promotion materials and manuals, as well as interviews with Cuban health professionals and HIV-positive patients.
Rev Panam Salud Publica, 26(1)