Cuba, Health Care, Social Determinants of Health, LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS, Gender, Discrimination


The purpose of this research project was to develop an understanding of the social, systemic, interpersonal, structural, and political dynamics of the health care system in Cuba. This was done by selecting two populations of focus; LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS positive individuals. The health care system and social determinants of health are analyzed using these two populations as lenses. While there is a plethora of information about the formal Cuban health care system, there is a dearth of literature pertaining to the social determinants, especially as it relates to LGBTQ Cubans and their quality of life and health care experience. To analyze these social conditions, first an academic literature review was conducted, providing the context behind the social conditions. Next, research was conducted for two weeks in Cuba, mostly Havana. Individuals who provided commentary were volunteer subjects and informally provided data. The results were compelling, that while individual discrimination is still apparent for LGBTQ individuals, institutional discrimination is largely absent. LGBTQ individuals have come a long way since the revolution, however there are still areas where progress is needed. Gender plays a significant role in societal acceptance, and further research needs to be conducted. Furthermore, Cubans are very proud of their health care system and do in fact receive very high quality care.

Publication Date

December 2018



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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.