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No decline in new HIV infections in Germany
Almost 37 million people worldwide currently live with the AIDS virus HIV. Two million of them got infected last year. Around 3,200 new HIV infections were recorded in Germany in 2015. The number is unchanged from previous years.
3,200 new HIV infections last year
The United Nations recently agreed on an ambitious plan: the global AIDS epidemic should end by 2030. The UN had already announced a turnaround in the previous year and announced that there were around 40 percent fewer HIV deaths worldwide. However, almost 37 million people still live with the HIV virus. And there are still new infections. Around two million people were infected with HIV last year, compared to around 3,200 in Germany.
Prevention strategy must continue to be implemented consistently
As reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin on the occasion of the new RKI estimate of HIV / AIDS events in Germany, around 3,200 people across Germany were newly infected with HIV in 2015. The number is unchanged from previous years.
"This is positive news in comparison to many other countries, but on the other hand the lack of a decline is evidence that the Federal Government's HIV prevention strategy must continue to be implemented consistently," said RKI President Lothar H. Wieler in a press release.
Health risk in Germany
According to the RKI, a total of around 84,700 people lived with the immunodeficiency virus in the Federal Republic at the end of last year. "HIV / AIDS continues to be a health risk in Germany," said Wieler.
The group most affected by HIV is still men who have sex with men (MSM). Of the 3,200 new infections in 2015, 2,200 occurred with MSM, this number has been falling slightly for some years, 750 were transmitted heterosexually, 250 with intravenous drug use. In 2015, there were an estimated 460 deaths among HIV-infected people.
Many are unaware of their infection
According to the RKI, an estimated 12,600 of the 84,700 HIV-infected people are unaware of their infection. Not only are late diagnoses associated with higher mortality and treatment costs, the infection can also be passed on unintentionally. According to the experts, the hurdles to get tested for HIV should be removed in view of this danger.
There are also compulsory barriers to medical care that need to be recognized and dismantled. Because it is believed that almost 11,000 people infected with HIV know about their infection, but they do not take any medication.
HIV does not cause any noticeable symptoms for a long time
According to the figures published in the current “Epidemiological Bulletin”, among the 84,700 people with HIV in Germany, there are around 11,750 people from abroad who have also contracted HIV abroad.
The institute pointed out that the estimated new infections should not be confused with the new diagnoses reported to the RKI. "Since HIV has not caused any noticeable symptoms for many years, the time of infection can be earlier," said the experts.
Protect with condoms
"The recommendation to use condoms remains the cornerstone of HIV prevention and has lost none of its topicality," says the message. Aids may also be able to cure AIDS in the future, my researchers say.
Just a few weeks ago, British scientists reported that a 44-year-old man was cured of HIV. He was treated with a new type of therapy, which meant that the HIV virus was no longer detectable in his blood.
Research has also made great strides in prevention. So it was possible to develop a drug that could massively reduce the number of new HIV infections in men. The means to protect against AIDS will also be approved in the EU in the future. (ad)