Less recent cases due to regular tests



Turns out to have succeeded. After a few increases and decreases, the number of new HIV infections in 2017 dropped for the first time to less than 500. According to the Federal Public Health Office, the policy of prevention in recent years has contributed to this.

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

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

(SDA) · 445 new cases of HIV were reported last year. That's 16 percent less than in 2016. "We believe this is a turnover," Daniel Koch, of the Federal Public Health Authority (FOPH), told federal parliamentary media Monday. By the end of the 1980s, there were approximately 2,000 new infections. Ten years later, the number has already fallen to almost 500, before rising again.

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

Similarly, people at high risk of HIV remain sex with men. More than half of newly infected men have been infected on this path. The above-average number of new cases of HIV occurred last year in Zurich and Lake Geneva: almost every other new HIV infection was found in these major areas.

Effective therapy

Koch follows developments back to preventive measures and campaigns of recent years. Prevention involves regular tests. In the centers of voluntary counseling and testing, the number of HIV tests last year increased by 11 percent, BAG said in a statement Monday. For men who have sex with men, the number of tests has increased by 20 percent.

Regular testing allows new infections to be prevented by an infected person who does not know they are HIV-positive. In addition, treatment can be started quickly, resulting in better results. According to BAG, the burden of viral follow-up treatment can be reduced by now that the person infected with HIV is no longer contagious.

Prevention remains important

Therefore, each person treated contributes to prevention, said Matthias Cavassini, chief physician at CHUV University Hospital in Lausanne. Relatively new in circulation is oral chemoprophylaxis (PREP) for people at high risk of exposure. These preparations will play a larger role in the future, explained Cavassini.

Koch warns against neglecting this positive development: HIV remains an incurable disease. "Still true: with dubious sexual intercourse, it is a condom."

The severity of the disease today shows new arrivals estimated at 60 to 80 cases of AIDS in 2017. Many affected are over 50, said Koch. "They are not considered 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, 11,111 cases of chlamydia and 2809 cases of yeast were reported. Whether it's turnover, it's open.

In syphilis, 60 percent of the infections involved men who had sex with men. In the drip (drip), this share was almost 40 percent. Chlamydia occurs mainly in women, which is related to routine examinations. This sex disease is in the fight with many secrets, said Koch.


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