Saturday , January 22 2022

Fewer new cases thanks to regular tests


Success seems to have succeeded. After some uneven, the number of new HIV infections in 2017 had dropped below 500 for the first time. According to the Federal Public Health Office, the prevention policy of recent years has contributed to this.

It starts with the HIV test: only those who know the diagnosis can be properly treated. (Image: Gaetan Bally / Keystone)

It starts with the HIV test: only those who know the diagnosis can be properly treated. (Image: Gaetan Bally / Keystone)

(SDA) · Last year, 445 new HIV cases were reported. This is 16 per cent less than in 2016. "We are confident that this turns," said Daniel Koch of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) on Monday in front of the Federal Parliamentary media. By the end of the 1980s, there were around 2,000 new infections per annum. Ten years later, the number had already dropped almost 500, before rising again.

Unchanged, especially men affected. Women account for only 22 percent of new HIV cases. Two thirds of women are foreign nationals. For men, the proportion of foreigners is less than 50 per cent.

Also unchanged, men have a high risk of HIV with sex with men. Over half of the newly infected men have become infected on this route. There has also been a higher number of new HIV cases last year in Zurich and the Lake Geneva Region: almost all new HIV infections were detected in these large regions.

Effective therapies

Koch traces the development back to the prevention and campaigns of recent years. Prevention includes regular tests. In the Advice and Voluntary Testing Centers, the number of HIV tests rose by 11 per cent last year, as the BAG writes in a statement on Monday. For men with sex with men, the number of tests increased by 20 per cent.

Regular tests allow new infections to be avoided by a person who has already infected that they do not know HIV positive. In addition, treatment can be started quickly, resulting in better results. According to the BAG, the burden of the viral treatment that is derived from today can be reduced so much that a person who has been infected with HIV is no longer infectious.

Stopping continues important

Therefore, every person who is being treated contributes to the prevention, says Matthias Cavassini, chief doctor at CHUV Hospital in the University of Lausanne. Verbal chemotherapy (PrEP) is relatively new for people with high risk of exposure. These preparations would play a bigger role in the future, Cavassini explained.

However, Koch warns of neglecting these positive developments: HIV is still an incredible disease. "It's still relevant: With suspicious sex connections it belongs to a condom."

The seriousness of this disease is shown today by the new ones who reach 60 to 80 AIDS cases in 2017. Many of those who have been affected over fifty years, says Koch . "They do not consider themselves as a risk group and can not be tested."

Not only HIV

There is also good news for other sexually transmitted diseases. After a strong increase in recent years, the number of infections has almost stabilized. In 2017, 754 cases of syphilis were reported, cases of 101 clamydia cases and 2809 gonorrhea. Possibly this turns, open.

In syphilis, 60 per cent of infections included men who had sex with men. In gonorrhea (gonorrhea), the proportion was almost 40 percent. Chlamydia is mainly found in women, who must do the usual exams. This incredible disease in the fight is a number of mysteries, says Koch.

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