Cuba is willing to cooperate, as much as possible, in the global fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, assured the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, when welcoming Winnie Byanyima, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), at the Palace of the Revolution.

The head of state expressed his desire to “advance in the global attention to this disease,” and explained elements associated with the strategy implemented by Cuba to face this scourge, “putting people living with HIV/AIDS at the center of attention.” The program has a community, intersectoral and multidisciplinary projection.

After mentioning how the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government on the island and the inclusion of our country in the list of alleged state sponsors of terrorism affect the functioning of the National Health System,

The president of the republic assured the executive director of UNAIDS that, even in the midst of the difficult economic situation, we continue to strengthen our program for the care of people living with the disease, which is a comprehensive and free program.”


The dignitary also expressed May 6 his support for South-South cooperation, and addressed the inequality gap between rich and poor, all of which is manifested in health services.

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, stressed that Cuba “has been at the forefront in the fight against this disease, despite the economic difficulties,” and revealed that, since “four years ago I started in this responsibility, I always wanted to visit Cuba to learn more about its work.”

Byanyima assured that his visit, among other purposes, is to “learn firsthand about the record that Cuba has achieved in the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS, through a system that is comprehensive, based on primary care, and whose services are offered free of charge.”

Cooperation between UNAIDS and Cuba began in the late 1990s. In 2015 it was “certified as the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and congenital syphilis.” (Granma)