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.

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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).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Reportis published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. KaiserFamily Foundation.

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