Number Of People Living With HIV/AIDS In Czech Republic Increases

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The numberof HIV-positive people living in the Czech Republic increased by 122 last year,the highest increase in the country's HIV testing history, Miroslav Hlavaty,director of the House of Light HIV/AIDS Prevention Centre in Prague, saidThursday, CTK/Czech Happenings reports.

According to Marie Bruckova of the AIDS National Reference Laboratory, althoughthe number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country has increased, thenumber is lower than in other European countries. Bruckova said that anincreasing number of HIV cases are being transmitted through injection druguse, adding that a growing number of people living with HIV/AIDS and hepatitisare migrating to the Czech Republic from countries in the former Soviet Union. According to Marie Stankova -- head of the AIDS Centerat Bulovka Teaching Hospital, where all HIV-positive women who are aware oftheir status deliver infants -- four infants have been born with HIV at thehospital.


At the end of December 2007, the country had registered 1,042 HIV cases andmore than 239 AIDS cases. However, the number of people living with HIV/AIDScould be 10 times higher because many people are unaware of their status andhave not been tested, Hlavaty said. He added that in 2007 only a few peoplereceived voluntary HIV tests and that most had progressed to AIDS before beingtested.

Government spending on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention has decreased annuallyfrom 67 million Czech crowns, or about $3.8 million, in 1996 to 20 millionCzech crowns, or about $1.1 million, in 2007, CTK/Czech Happenings reports.Dzamila Stehlikova, Czech minister for human rights, said the government thisyear will allocate five times more funding to the fight against HIV/AIDS thanin 2007. The increased funding will allow for a campaign aimed at increasingawareness and prevention of the disease to be launched in May, Stehlikova said(CTK/Czech Happenings, 1/24).

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