Fall in Aids cases
24 August 2004, MADRID – The number of cases of Aids in Spain fell by more than 5 percent last year, according to figures released Tuesday.
24 August 2004
MADRID – The number of cases of Aids in Spain fell by more than 5 percent last year, according to figures released Tuesday.
The Health Ministry said there were 2,190 cases of Aids in 2003 – a decrease of 5.2 percent compared with the year before.
The number of women with Aids fell more sharply, by 9 percent, compared with men, whose numbers fell by 4.2 percent.
The figures were revealed in a report by the National Aids Plan, a body set up to stop the spread of new cases in Spain.
The report said the reduction in cases, which started in 1996, showed a "tendency to stabilise".
Eighty percent of those diagnosed with Aids in 2003 were men.
The average age for someone to contract Aids rose to 40 – compared with 28 in 1985.
And the number of cases of children under 13 contracting Aids was minimal – 0.3 percent.
The fall in Aids cases was put down to fewer drug users injecting and fewer mothers with Aids passing it on to their children.
More cases were being spread through sex – 43 percent last year.
But in almost half of all cases, HIV was contracted through drug use. Of these, 50 percent were men and 43 percent women.
The number of heterosexuals who caught HIV after having unprotected sex rose to 28 percent of the total number. Among this group, 50 percent were women, and 22 percent men.
Fifteen percent of sufferers caught the condition through gay sex.
Most alarmingly, in more than a third of all cases diagnosed last year (38 percent) the person did not know they had Aids until they started to become ill when drugs become useless to treat or prevent the condition.
The Ministry of Health said new treatments for Aids were more effective, allowing sufferers to live longer and to slow down the advance of the condition.
But a spokesman warned: "We should not drop our guard. Every year in Spain, there are between 2,000 and 4,000 new cases."
Health Minister Elena Salgado, said those who had practised 'unsafe sex' – without condoms – were putting themselves and others at risk.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news