HIV/AIDS is still a current public health concern for all countries of the world. Research has helped progress the education and treatment of the virus, but some areas of the world still have difficulty with this public health concern. Out of all developing countries, South Africa has one of the highest percentages of their population living with HIV/AIDS while Cuba has one of the lowest percentages of their population living with the virus. In this paper, the public health policies of South Africa and Cuba regarding treatment, prevention and transmission will be discussed and compared.
South Africa is one of the countries that are part of Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS infected people in the world. This region contains 10% of the population of the world and has 60% of HIV/AIDS infected people living in this area (Jacobsen, 2008). By 2007, the amount of people that had died in South Africa that were infected by the virus reached over two million (Gilbert, 2008). Due to the amount of people infected with the virus, the government and medical community of South Africa needed to implement a plan to deal with the epidemic. The National AIDS Coordinating Committee of South Africa (NACOSA) was formed in 1992 to develop a national plan to deal with the issue (South African Government Information, 2007). The National Strategic Plan (NSP) was developed by the NACOSA review in 1999 which focused on the government improving “education, health services, reduction of poverty, the empowerment of women, and the provision of basic services such as shelter, clean water, and sanitation” (South African Government Information, 2007, p. 18). In 2007, the South African government developed a National Strategic Plan (NSP) to continue addressing the problem of HIV/AIDS in their country (South African Government Information, 2007). The government of South Africa still continues to deal with the above issues in order to deal with their population that is infected with HIV/AIDS.
The NSP of 2007 set goals to deal with the problem of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Their primary goals were to reduce the amount of new HIV/AIDS infected people by 50% and improve the care and support to infected individuals, their families, and the community (South African Government Information, 2007). The plan focuses on educating the public about voluntary testing, empowering women, discussing domestic violence, and sexual education between parents and children (South African Government Information, 2007). By educating the public on how to prevent HIV exposure, the rate of newly infected individuals will dwindle.
Through the NSP, the South African government has set up a plan for universal healthcare for people with HIV/AIDS. Public and private sector entities joined and created a comprehensive healthcare plan so their citizens can obtain the care that the need for treatment for HIV/AIDS. Treatment also includes the antiviral medication needed...