quinta-feira, dezembro 23, 2004
Portugal: VIH nas pessoas com mais de 50 anos
HIV Infection Rate Soars in Portugal Among Those Over 50
from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
December 16, 2004
Portugal registered a 71 percent increase in HIV infections among those over age 50, from 819 cases in 1999 to 1,402 cases at the end of 2003, according to health ministry figures. One in five new HIV infections in Portugal in 2003 were among those over 50. Elsewhere in the European Union, the sharpest increases in HIV are among those under age 30.
Portugal's HIV incidence rate of 228.4 cases per 1 million people in 2003 is the EU's highest. Officials attribute the HIV spike among older people to a more active sex life due to anti-impotence drugs, a belief that HIV is a youth problem, and low condom use by a group unconcerned with pregnancy. "Prevention strategies up to now were not thought of to take into account of people in this age group. This has to change," said Paulo Nossa, director of Portugal's National Commission Against AIDS.
Older adults are also the least informed about HIV, research has found. Older Portuguese share a widespread perception that HIV is a disease of IV drug users, who accounted for nearly half of Portugal's 25,000 estimated cumulative HIV cases at the end of June. But needle-exchange programs have stopped HIV's increase among drug users. HIV's spread is increasingly through sexual contact.
Health officials said that of HIV infections in those over 50, virtually all were sexually acquired; and about three-quarters were men, some of whom contracted HIV from IV-drug using sex workers. Nearly all infected women over 50 contracted HIV sexually through their husband, said officials. The health ministry is planning to retool its public education campaigns to target different groups, including those over age 50.
[Source: Daniel Silva; Agence France Presse, -->12.15.04.]