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Tuesday 25.10.2016 | Name days: Beāte, Beatrise

Estonia and Latvia both have the highest HIV infection index in EU

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia has the second highest HIV infection index in the European Union. Estonia has the absolute highest index, as reported by Jana Feldmane, head of Healthcare Ministry’s Social Health Department.

She said that 17 per 100,000 residents in Latvia are infected with HIV. Estonia’s index in this regard is 24 per 100,000 residents. That of Lithuania and many other countries is a mere 6 per 100,000 residents.

In addition, HIV is often uncovered in Latvia at a late stage. HIV is found too late on average for 7 people per 100,000 residents annually. Elsewhere in Europe, cases when HIV is discovered too late are as rare as 1 per 100,000, says Feldmane.

The specialist added that the cases of HIV infection acquired by heterosexual means are on a rise in the country. What is most troubling is that 30% of people acquired HIV in an unknown way, added Feldmane.

Because HIV infection rates are on a rise among women as well, experts fear for children’s health. In spite of the fact that HIV treatment for women is funded by the state, four newborns were infected with HIV in 2014 and ten newborns in 2013.

According to specialists, it is possible to become infected with HIV during unprotected sex, through blood, if the blood of a person infected with HIV touches another person’s open wound or become ingested, and through mothers’ milk.

Specialists urge residents to undergo HIV tests if they have any concerns regarding possible HIV infection.

Last year, a total of 347 new cases of HIV infection and 171 new cases of AIDS infection were registered in Latvia. Results of this year’s first six months are as follows: 165 new cases of HIV infection and 42 new cases of AIDS infection.


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