HIV infections level off, but rise among gay men

19th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 April 2005, BERLIN - The overall number of new HIV/AIDS infections in Germany levelled off in 2004 but rose six percent among gay men amid a downturn in the use of condoms, the country's disease research body, the Robert Koch Institut, reported on Tuesday in Berlin.

19 April 2005

BERLIN - The overall number of new HIV/AIDS infections in Germany levelled off in 2004 but rose six percent among gay men amid a downturn in the use of condoms, the country's disease research body, the Robert Koch Institut, reported on Tuesday in Berlin.

The institute said the number of newly-diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases was around 2,000 last year, roughly the same figure as in 2003.

Homosexual men accounted for 47 percent of the new infections, making up the single biggest group in the statistics. The institute also said the number of cases of the venereal disease syphilis had increased sharply among homosexual men.

It said that there was a noticeable rise in new HIV/AIDS cases among the 30-to 49-year age group of gay men.

"This is disturbing, because these are people who themselves in the 1980s personally experienced the suffering of those around them from HIV/AIDS," institute president Reinhard Kurth said.

The institute sounded the alarm about the decline in the use of condoms among single persons in Germany. Whereas 78 percent of the below-45 age group used condoms in the year 2000, last year the figure was down to 70 percent.

After gay men, the next biggest group of those contracting HIV/AIDS last year were people from foreign countries, including chiefly eastern Europe, where there was a high rate of HIV, the institute said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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