HIV infections on the rise in Germany

10th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 July 2007, Frankfurt (dpa) - Both men and women who have unprotected sex with differing partners should regularly have themselves tested for the virus that causes HIV/AIDS.

10 July 2007

Frankfurt (dpa) - Both men and women who have unprotected sex with differing partners should regularly have themselves tested for the virus that causes HIV/AIDS.

This is especially important in light of the rising number of new infections, according to a German magazine for physicians reporting on a recent HIV/AIDS conference in Frankfurt.

"In fact, every sexually active person should know his or her HIV serostatus," said Brigitte Schmied, vice president of the third German-Austrian HIV/AIDS Congress. People who have unprotected sex with more than one partner can be infected by any of them.

Schmied, an HIV/AIDS expert from Vienna, was also critical of campaigns encouraging people to use condoms, saying they are inadequate. This has been shown through continued difficulties health officials have experienced in controlling other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhoea.

In Germany, the number of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2006 was 2,611 compared with 2,500 new infections in 2005 and 1,443 in 2001.

HIV/AIDS infections are discovered very late, sometimes as long as 10 years after exposure, in approximately every third AIDS patient, according to Schmied. Often, infected people have engaged in unprotected sex with many different partners during this time. They commonly notice the signs of the virus when they contract a respiratory infection caused by a particular fungus. Other signs of an HIV/AIDS infection are shortness of breath that progressively worsens and a dry cough.

An acute HIV/AIDS infection is often hard to detect. Shortly after exposure the individual suffers stomach and digestion problems, fever, swelling of the lymph nodes and often rashes, said Schmied. Doctors often don't recognize the symptoms immediately, initially suspecting an infectious mononucleosis problem.


DPA

Subject: German news

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