HAVANA, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's health ministry is urging "vulnerable" citizens to undergo HIV tests more often, revealing that 2,156 new cases of HIV/AIDS were registered last year, local media reported Monday.
The total number of Cubans with the immunodeficiency disease now stands at 16,479, Maria Isela Lantero, an official with Cuba's Health Ministry, was quoted by weekly newspaper Trabajadores as saying, noting one of the current problems with prevention is that 40 percent of those diagnosed in 2013 had not undergone an HIV test for more than three years.
"It shows that there are still people to reach," she said. "It is necessary to foster a greater sense of individual responsibility to approach the health services, where they provide tests for vulnerable groups."
Lantero stressed that the health sector's prevention campaigns focus on such vulnerable groups as homosexual men, sex workers, women and young people.
However, despite the spread of the disease, she said the antiretroviral treatments used to combat AIDS have been "successful," with more than 94 percent of AIDS patients who began treatment in 2008 still living.