Cuba has become the first country to be certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Unborn children or breastfed newborns run a 15 and 45 percent risk of contracting HIV from their mother. However, this risk can be reduced to about one percent if antiretrovirals are administered to pregnant women and children. In 2013, Cuba reported only two cases of babies born with HIV and five with syphilis. Cuba achieved the certification of being free of mother-to-child disease transmission with the help of a five-year program administered through the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). According to the WHO, the number of children born with HIV around the world every year has been nearly cut in half since 2009, and 20 other countries have asked for the same WHO certification that Cuba has received.
Read more in The Scientist.