Cuba eliminates mother-to-child HIV

Cuba has successfully managed to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and syphilis.

This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which labelled the breakthrough as one of the greatest ever achievements in public health.

It is now hoping that other countries around the world will follow the island nation's lead and achieve the same breakthough.

Every year around 1.4 million women around the world become pregnant, with a lack of treatment leading to a 15 to 45 per cent chance of transmitting the virus to their children.

However, official data suggests that less than two per cent of children born to HIV mothers will be diagnosed with the virus - the lowest possible rate given the available prevention methods.

Dr Carissa Etienne, of the Pan American Health Organization, which has been working with the WHO, said: "Cuba's achievement provides inspiration for other countries to advance towards elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis."