Why have HIV cases increased in Europe

HIV: The number of new infections has increased slightly

Berlin. In the past year, a little more people in Germany HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) infected than the year before. The number of estimated new infections is 2,600 - a hundred cases more than in 2018.

Before that, between 2015 and 2018, the numbers were down. Yet this trend has not continued like that Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced in a report on Thursday.

In total, there were 90,700 infected people in Germany at the end of 2019. An estimated 10,800 did not know about their infection - especially from them virus accidentally passed on.

Also read:HIV patient cured according to researchers - second case worldwide

HIV test offers restricted due to corona pandemic

"This slight increase in the number of infections shows that further efforts are necessary, in particular to improve the range of tests and to guarantee access to therapy for all people living with HIV in Germany," said RKI President Lothar Wieler .

The German AIDS Aid warned of regression due to the corona pandemic: anonymous test offers are severely restricted in many places due to the overloaded health authorities. The figures in the RKI report are not satisfactory.

HIV infections: increase from drug use

But there are also successes, so Wieler: With the main affected group of gay and bisexual men the estimated new infections have fallen significantly in recent years. In 2013 there were 2,200 cases, in 2019 the number was 1,600 as in the previous year.

The slight increases in infections resulted from heterosexual contact (650 cases) and from drug use Syringes (360 cases).

A third of them are diagnosed with HIV only at an advanced stage

The estimated new infections should not be confused with the reported new diagnoses. Since HIV does not cause any noticeable symptoms for many years, the time of infection can be a long time ago.

According to the report, around a third of the diagnoses were only made when those affected were already advanced Immunodeficiency had, in about 15 percent, when they first developed AIDS - the disease that is caused by HIV.

“The stagnation in late diagnoses is tragic,” said Sven Warminsky from the board of directors of Deutsche Aidshilfe. Efforts in this area urgently need to be stepped up, for example through training for doctors who often do not consider HIV as a cause of disease.

Read more here:World AIDS Day: Answers to questions about the HI virus.

HIV epidemic: 30,000 deaths since the epidemic began

In total, there were 380 HIV-infected deaths last year and just under 30,000 since the epidemic began in the 1980s. The virus gets infectious through blood and others Body fluids transfer. There is no vaccine.

In the 96 percent of those infected with HIV who have a so-called antiretroviral therapy received, this is almost always successful according to the RKI. You are no longer contagious. (afp / dpa / jtb)