December 1 - World AIDS Day

In Europe a person becomes infected with HIV every 17 seconds


According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization, over two million people are infected with HIV in Europe. This means that every 17 seconds a person is infected with HIV or an average of 5,000 new infections per day. More than 150,000 new cases of HIV infection were reported in Europe in 2017, with the vast majority - nearly 130,000 - in Eastern Europe. 75 percent of new cases are registered in Russia and Ukraine.

In recent years, the number of new cases worldwide has been relatively low, but late diagnosis remains a problem. Every second newly diagnosed case is already at an advanced stage. One out of five infected does not know this. Therefore, global health agencies call for more research to detect the HIV virus.

Since the beginning of the year until October, 242,000 people have been tested for HIV in over 100 laboratories in Bulgaria, Dr. Tonka Varleva, Director of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program at the Health Ministry said. 269 ​​new cases of AIDS have been detected, with the total number of HIV-positive people since the mid-1980s, when the first case was established in Bulgaria, now reaching 3000 people. It is believed that their number is actually much larger and exceeds 4000. However, according to the Ministry of Health, the number of newly discovered cases is much lower than that in most European countries.

According to the European Center for Disease Control, the incidence of new HIV cases in Bulgaria is 2.7 per 100 000 population, while in the EU countries there is an average of 5.7 cases per 100 000. The most vulnerable age groups are young people and those in active age.

In Bulgaria, in 88% of cases HIV was transmitted sexually. / 54% are men who got infected after sexual intercourse with men; 34% after heterosexual contacts and 10% after drug use). The ratio of infected men to women is 8: 1. The most affected age group remains 30-39 years - nearly 40%. The largest is the number of newly infected patients in Sofia - 111, Plovdiv - 28, Varna - 15, Bourgas - 10. Annually, the treatment of one infected with the AIDS virus costs the state about 10 euros.

World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988 on the initiative of the World Health Organization aims to focus public attention on HIV/AIDS issues and to emphasize on the need to support and understand people living with this disease.

English: Alexander Markov

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