Saturday , September 18 2021

"Turnaround" in HIV-Switzerland infections: Standard

It seems that the return has been a success. After several ups and downs, the number of new HIV infections fell in 2017. Below 500 for the first time. According to the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH), the preventive policy of recent years has contributed to this.

There were 445 new cases last year, 16 per cent less than in 2016. "We are convinced that this is a change," said Daniel Koch from FOPH on Monday in front of federal parliamentary media. By the end of the 1980s, there were about 2,000 new infections a year. Ten years later, this figure has already fallen to almost 500, and then again increased.

No change, especially men are afflicted, women only 22 percent new cases of HIV. Two-thirds of women are foreigners. In the case of men, the percentage of foreigners is smaller than 50 percent.

Also unchanged, men have a high risk of HIV, having sex with men. More than half of newly infected men have been infected on this path. An above-average number of new HIV cases also occurred last year in Zurich and the region of Lake Geneva: almost every second new HIV infection was detected in these major regions.

Effective therapies

Koch follows development back to preventive activities and campaigns of recent years. Prevention includes regular tests. In voluntary counseling and testing centers, the number of HIV tests increased last year 11 percent, as BAG writes in a message from Monday. For men who have sex with men, the number of tests has been reduced 20 percent down.

Regular testing helps to avoid new infections where an infected person does not know they are HIV positive. In addition, the treatment can be started quickly, which gives better results. According to BAG, the burden of such viral treatment can be reduced so much today that an HIV-infected person is no longer contagious.

Gum is still one of them

That is why every person being treated contributes to the prevention, said Matthias Cavassini, head doctor at the CHUV university hospital in Lausanne. The novelty in the circulation is oral chemoprophylaxis (PrEP) for people at high risk of exposure. These preparations will play a bigger role in the future, Cavassini explained.

However, Koch warns against neglecting these positive changes: HIV remains an incurable disease. "It still applies: with doubtful sexual contact, a condom belongs to him."

The seriousness of the disease is confirmed even by the new forecasts for 2017 60 it80 cases of AIDS. Many injured people are finite 50 years old, as Koch said. "They do not consider themselves as a risk group and can not be tested."

Not just HIV

There is also good news for other sexually transmitted diseases. After a strong increase in recent years, the number of infections has almost stabilized. In 2017, 754 cases of syphilis, 11,101 cases of chlamydia and 2809 cases of gonorrhea were reported. Is it a change, it is open.

In the case of syphilis, 60% of the infections concerned men who had sex with men. In gonorrhea, this percentage was slightly below 40 percent. Chlamydia is found mainly in women, which is associated with routine testing. This venereal disease is in the fight against many mysteries, said Koch. (SDA)

Created: 19/11/2018, 12.35 hours

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