Netherlands To Target Immigrants, Young Men Who Have Sex With Men in AIDS Education
Netherlands Minister of Health Hans Hoogervorst on Tuesday announced that due to an "explosive" increase in sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, the ministry plans to refocus its STD education programs to target immigrants and young men who have sex with men, Reuters Health reports. A report released earlier this week by the country's National Institute of Public Health and the Environment and several sexual health groups found that the number of new STD cases increased 16% from 2001 to 2002. According to the report, 129 new HIV cases were reported in 2002, a 111% increase over newly reported infections in 2001 and a 130% increase over the number of new infections three years ago. In addition, 25% of the newly reported HIV cases in 2002 were among female emigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, and the number of new syphilis cases among MSM rose 182%, according to the report. M. J. W. van de Laar, one of the report's authors, called the increase in new syphilis diagnoses among MSM "especially troubling" because prior infection with an STD increases a person's chances of being infected with HIV, according to Reuters Health (Conaway, Reuters Health, 6/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.