Germany Reports 20% Increase in HIV Cases in First Half of 2005
The number of HIV cases in Germany reached 1,164 in the first six months of 2005, a 20% increase over the first half of 2004, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the government's central disease control center, Reuters Health reports. Men who have sex with men account for nearly 60% of the new HIV cases, RKI said, adding that the group's risk of contracting HIV is now nearly double that of 12 years ago. RKI also said that German males are 7.5 times as likely as females in the country to contract the disease, and most HIV-positive men are between ages 25 and 45. Women have the highest risk of contracting HIV through sexual contact with males from high-risk groups, such as men from countries with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, injection drug users and MSM, according to RKI. "The German health minister considers this a serious development and says the rise in HIV infections is worrying," ministry spokesperson Dagmar Reitenbach said in a news conference (Charbonneau, Reuters Health, 10/5). Reinhardt Kurth, RKI president, said, "We must tell people that despite ... more efficient treatment, AIDS cannot be healed" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 10/5). UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said on Monday that the number of HIV cases across Europe is increasing. According to EU statistics, the number of newly reported HIV cases in the EU has almost doubled since 1996 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.