HIV infections rise: three new cases every day
28 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Three people are diagnosed as HIV positive in Belgium every day, an increase on the rate recorded in the 1980s when two people a day were diagnosed as with the virus that can lead to AIDS.
28 February 2006
BRUSSELS — Three people are diagnosed as HIV positive in Belgium every day, an increase on the rate recorded in the 1980s when two people a day were diagnosed as with the virus that can lead to AIDS.
Between 1997 and 2004, the number of HIV infections in Belgium rose by 43 percent. The increase is occurring among both the immigrant and native Belgian communities.
Figures also indicate that 66 percent of HIV-positive men were infected after having gay or bisexual sex. Most women (87 percent) are infected via heterosexual sex.
The Scientific Institute for Public Health and the College of AIDS Reference Laboratories also said non-Belgian nationals make up 65 percent of new HIV infections.
The study also revealed that 76 percent of non-Belgians becoming infected with HIV come from African nations south of the Sahara.
"It is not easy to make these people aware [of the disease]," the Flemish Health Ministry said.
An information campaign has been launched in co-operation with the Institute for Tropical Medicines. The project will involve the leaders of the migrant community to help raise awareness about AIDS.
Meanwhile, figures also indicate that since 2001, HIV infections have also been rising again among Caucasian Belgians, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Tuesday.
Since the start of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s and up until 2004, some 17,968 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Belgium.
Of that group, 3,374 have developed AIDS and 1,763 have died.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news