Rate of HIV infection up 16 percent in France

28th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 26 (AFP) - The French government expressed concern over a 16 percent rise in the HIV transmission rate in the country, with 7,000 people infected with the deadly virus last year, according to figures released Saturday.

PARIS, Nov 26 (AFP) - The French government expressed concern over a 16 percent rise in the HIV transmission rate in the country, with 7,000 people infected with the deadly virus last year, according to figures released Saturday.

"I am worried. Worried about the increasing transmission, worried about the decrease and even the absence of preventative behaviour," said French health minister Xavier Bertrand said.

"One person in two who are infected with the virus are not aware" that they are HIV positive said the minister, adding that the number of people having unprotected sex had doubled in 10 years.

According to the French health monitoring institute InVS, some 7,000 people contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 2004 compared to 6,000 in 2003, when reporting new cases became mandatory.

Some 1,500 HIV-infected people developed last year the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the potentially fatal stage of the infection which attacks the immune system.

There are 150,000 people with HIV living in France.

The group most affected by HIV infection are people from sub-Saharan Africa at 32 percent of new HIV cases in 2004, the majority by heterosexual sex and two-thirds of them women. Twenty-four percent of new cases were among homosexual men.

The InVS said the number of people of French nationality infected by heterosexual sex was 17 percent in 2004.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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