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December 18, 1987

HIV Infection in Cuba

Author Affiliations

Finlay Medical Society Miami

Finlay Medical Society Miami

JAMA. 1987;258(23):3387. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400230047021

To the Editor.—  The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the countries that make up the island of Hispaniola has received attention in THE JOURNAL recently.1 In 1987, a study on the rates of infection in the Dominican Republic shed light on both the Dominican and the Haitian populations.Cuba recently has released data on HIV serology that suggest that 0.02% of Cubans are infected (Miami Herald, April 19, 1987, p 22A). Our health surveillance studies, however, carried out on newly arrived refugees, suggest a much higher rate of HIV infection in Cubans. Out of 990 randomly selected blood samples collected in 1980, twenty were positive for HIV infection (2.02%).2 Considering that Cuba has a rather sophisticated public health system, the reason for this discrepancy is not entirely clear.For 1986, the rates of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Haiti and the Dominican Republic were 88