HIV in Belgiumat record high

28th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

28 November 2003, BRUSSELS – The number of people infected with the HIV virus in Belgium has reached an all-time high, according to medical journal de Artsenkrant.

28 November 2003

BRUSSELS – The number of people infected with the HIV virus in Belgium has reached an all-time high, according to medical journal de Artsenkrant.

By the end of the year, the number of new HIV contaminations in Belgium will exceed 1,000 for the first time.

The number of those who carrying the HIV virus developing full-blown Aids has been found to be on the decrease however - to less than 100 per year.

According to expert in sexually transmitted diseases, Dr Dirk Avonts, the reason for the drop in HIV carriers developing Aids is due to state-of-the-art medication which helps stabilise the disease before symptoms appear.

Progress in anti-retroviral drugs however, may be changing the perception of aids as a contagious killer disease according to Avonts, subsequently leading to behaviour explaining the rise in HIV infections.

“The threat of infection is still very real… and it is a killer disease.  The safe sex message is getting old however and people are tired of the safe sex campaign, even rebelling against it,” said Avonts.

According to doctors in the field, a new prevention campaign is necessary to get the message across, as well as a drive to encourage at-risk people to get themselves tested.

Avonts also warns of the danger of another sexually transmitted disease, syphilis – Flanders is currently seeing an epidemic of the infection across the region.

Subject: Belgian news

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