Germany reports less newly-infected HIV cases in 2017

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-23 02:55:23|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Around 2,700 people in Germany became infected with HIV in 2017, 200 less than that in 2016, according to figures reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) as cited by the German federal ministry of health on its official website on Thursday.

In men who have sex with men, the number of estimated new infections has dropped significantly, from 2,300 in 2013 to 1,700 in 2017, according to the RKI, the disease control and prevention institute.

At the end of 2017, it was estimated that 86,100 people living with HIV were living in Germany, and among those there were 53,000 men who have sex with men, about 11,000 heterosexual men and women, and about 8,100 intravenous drug users. And around 450 people died of HIV in 2017, according to the new RKI estimate.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said, "Thanks to its successful prevention work and good treatment options, Germany is already one of the countries with the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe."

However, there are an estimated 11,400 people with HIV who do not know they are infected, so volunteer self-testing and low-threshold testing, even for people without health insurance, is important to treat people with HIV infection, said Lothar H. Wieler, President of the RKI.

"The effective and early treatment after the diagnosis, the expansion of target group-specific test offers and the increased willingness of the affected parties to test are the main reasons for the decreasing number of new HIV infections," said Wieler.