Czech Republic sees record rise in number of HIV cases
While the number of people infected with HIV in the Czech Republic remains comparatively low, there is no question the situation is getting worse each year. 2015 saw 266 new cases of infection registered, and February 2016 alone saw the most new cases in a single month since 1985.
“I think that one reason is that those who are at risk – those who take risks – simply do not heed the danger: some stopped being afraid. One factor which may have played a role is the existence of fewer preventive campaigns like we used to see in the 1990s. There was a drop in funding for those kinds of initiatives and we stopped hearing about HIV. We are in a situation now where we have more effective drugs today to treat HIV but the problem is less talked about.”
Paradoxically, the availability of more effective treatment may have contributed to the drop in fear; as it appears that life even with HIV can now be made ‘manageable’, as it is not the clear death sentence it was two decades ago. All the same, no one should underestimate the impact on one’s health and quality of life. Doctor Ladislav Machala again:
According to Doctor Machala, there is some good news ahead: the Health Ministry agreed this week to increase funds for preventive programmes, to make more people aware that HIV is still out there, that there is no cure, and to take steps: practicing safe sex or – if using illegal drugs – not sharing needles to prevent its spread.