Bratislava, July 7 (TASR) – There has been an increase in the number of people in Slovakia that have contracted HIV infection since the beginning of the 21st century, states a report on the fulfilment of the National HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme for 2013-16 that was approved by the Cabinet at its session on Thursday.
Slovak researchers began monitoring incidences of HIV and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in 1985 and have recorded 811 cases of HIV infection in the country since then. “Of the 674 infected Slovaks, 587 were men and 87 women,” states the report, adding that in 87 cases (74 men and 13 women) HIV progressed to AIDS. A total of 59 people have died from the disease. Nevertheless, Slovakia is still among the EU-member states with the lowest incidences of HIV and AIDS.
Hygienists recorded 86 new cases of HIV infection in Slovakia in each of the years 2014 and 2015. AIDS was recorded in nine cases in 2015. All the people with AIDS were Slovaks. Five people died.
The highest number of infected people have been found among men who engage in sex with other men. “Contracting the infection via homosexual intercourse occurred in 65 percent of all cases,” states the report. The number of young males who have contracted the virus is continually increasing. The virus was also transmitted via heterosexual intercourse (in 24 percent of cases), by drug injections (2.2 percent), blood transfusions (0.7 percent) and transmissions of unknown origin (8.7 percent).
Scientists distinguish between three stages of HIV infection. These are acute infection, clinical latency and AIDS. HIV/AIDS cannot be cured, but damage to the immunity system can be inhibited via the administration of certain drugs.