New HIV Cases In Sweden Increased

Armen Hareyan's picture

The numberof new HIV cases recorded in Swedenin 2007 increased by 20%, according to preliminary data published on Tuesday bythe Swedish Institute for InfectiousDisease Control, AFP/ reports. According to the data,about 500 new HIV cases were recorded in the country in 2007, compared with 390new cases recorded in 2006. The number of new cases recorded among men who havesex with men increased from 50 in 2006 to about 80 in 2007, and the number ofcases recorded among injection drug users increased from 35 in 2006 to about 70in 2007, according to the institute. The data also indicate that the number ofpeople newly diagnosed with HIV who contracted the virus inside the countryincreased to 70% of cases, according to AFP/

Researcher Claes Herlitz, who has been examining Swedish attitudes toward HIVsince the late 1980s, said that the data suggest that people are becoming lessworried about contracting the virus than they were 10 years ago. "Interestin HIV/AIDS has gradually declined as people have become more accustomed to thethreat," he said, adding, "They've seen that HIV hasn't spread asquickly as we thought it would in the late '80s, and there are new medicinesmaking it more difficult to get AIDS. Fewer people are dying."

Herlitzadded that people living with HIV in Sweden face less stigma anddiscrimination. "But perhaps the fear has declined too much," hesaid, adding, "Risky sexual behavior has increased, and a greater numberof people are having casual sex without using a condom." According toinstitute statistician Malin Arneborn, cases of most sexually transmittedinfections are increasing in Swedenbecause people are "having more unprotected sex" (AFP/,2/5).

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