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Sex Health Exch. 1999;(3):8-9.

Country watch: Cuba.



Health authorities in Cuba made a serious effort to fight HIV/AIDS in their country. In 1986, the government launched a National Programme of Control and Prevention of HIV/AIDS, aimed at controlling the epidemic and providing quality of care for HIV-positive people. Initially, people with HIV/AIDS (PHA) were interned in sanitariums to prevent HIV infection from spreading further. The sanitariums provided good medical and psychological support. However, ambulatory care was introduced in 1993, mitigating the mandatory character of the original system and focusing more on PHA. Additional services were made available to PHA in December 1998 with the creation of a National Centre for the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Disease/HIV/AIDS, an integral part of the Ministry of Public Health. The center offers an AIDS prevention hotline and counseling services that include a pilot project, ┬┐Mobile Project┬┐, an outreach project for people at risk. The PHA Project was launched in March 1999 with a workshop for 30 PHA from Havana; a guide, "Living with HIV", was created to address the problem of unavailability of information concerning the disease. The guide discusses basic clinical information about HIV/AIDS; PHA and their social environment; nutrition, diet, and hygiene; sexuality; and legal aspects.

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