Swiss Health Ministry Expresses Concern Over 25% Rise in Number of HIV Cases From 2001 to 2002
The Swiss Ministry of Health on Monday expressed concern over a 25% increase in the number of HIV cases diagnosed in the country in 2002, compared with the number of cases diagnosed in 2001, Agence France-Presse reports. The ministry said that 792 cases of HIV had been diagnosed during 2002 and through February of this year, an increase of 25.5% compared to 2001. "Transmission by sexual means -- male homosexuality and heterosexuality -- is clearly to the forefront of this development," a health ministry bulletin said. New cases due to homosexual transmission were most common among members of Switzerland's indigenous citizens, while cases due to heterosexual contact were seen more often in members of the country's large immigrant population. According to Agence France-Presse, an HIV/AIDS prevention program targeted toward immigrants is scheduled to begin later this year. The health ministry, which noted that the number of AIDS cases did not increase over the same time period, said that Switzerland has the highest proportion of HIV cases per 100,000 people in Western Europe. The rate in 2000 was 8.2 cases per 100,000 people, compared with a regional average of 6.1 cases per 100,000 people (Agence France-Presse, 4/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.