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HIV In Germany: Jog Trot Instead Of Safer Sex

Scoop Report: HIV In Germany: Jog Trot Instead Of Safer Sex
By Marietta Gross - Scoop Media Auckland.

The number of AIDS-infections within homosexual men has risen in Germany in 2004. According to a report of the Robert-Koch-Institute in Berlin, the transmission of the agent from one man to another was six per cent higher than the year before. In total the amount of recently diagnosed infections remained at about 2,000 cases. Also the rise of Syphilis was significantly higher within the group of homosexual men, writes the RKI.

Certain groups of the population protect themselves in terms of sex less often then before, warned the Department of Health Education (BZgA) after the analysis of a new sample survey. In 2000 78 per cent of singles beyond the age of 45 used a condom for contraception in case of a new relationship, in 2004 it was only 70 per cent. “These developments show that differentiated data analyses and targeted education concepts are necessary”, mentioned Reinhard Kurth, president of the RKI, and Elisabeth Pott, director of the BZgA.

Homosexual men amounted with 47 per cent, and the biggest group of new infections. A rise among the age group between 30 and 45 years was also noticeable. “This is alarming, because it affects people, who have experienced the affliction caused by HIV/AIDS in their surroundings in the 1980s”, said Kurth. Also the growing optimism regarding a therapy seems to mislead many people to estimate HIV to be not dangerous, warned Pott.

The number of reported Syphilis cases rose from 2,934 (in 2003) to 3,345. Within the group of same-sex active men Syphilis was a particular danger, because it is a pacemaker for AIDS, warned the RKI.

Within heterosexual contacts the risk is growing due to high HIV infection rates in Eastern Europe and the growing prostitution trade. The second largest group of new infections (16 per cent) were people, who are originating from a country with a high HIV-rate. Only a fifth of 2004 first infections in Germany were women.

At the same time condoms have never been as safe as today. That’s the conclusion of an analysis by the material research laboratory Darmstadt on behalf of the Federation Romande des Consommateurs. All 23 models tested fulfil the requirements of the European norm, eight of which with an A-grade, ten with B. Only two models missed the stricter quality specifications for an OK-cachet. Back in 1986 only a third of the tested models had passed the quality requirements.

ENDS

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