Osakidetza attends with antiretroviral treatments in 6,106 patients and last year diagnosed 18 new cases AIDS, the lowest figure since 1985, although the Department of Health believes that the decline in HIV is “one-off” and is related to the covid-19 pandemic.
On December 1, 1981, the first case of AIDS in the world was diagnosed. The disease reached the Basque Autonomous Community in 1984 and since then 6,033 cases have been diagnosed in the CAV. A downward trend began in the 1990s thanks to the generalization of antiretroviral treatments until reaching 18 last year, the lowest figure in 35 years.
With regard to HIV, the incidence in CAV was 4.77 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020 (1.17 points less than the state average), which represents a 28% decrease compared to the previous year.
However, that The drop is linked to the reduction in the number of risky sexual relations during confinement motivated by COVID and it contrasts with the upward trend of sexually transmitted infections in previous years.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the Minister of Health, Gotzone Sagardui, has made an appeal to don’t lower your guard against HIV because, despite “its specific setback”, to this day “it continues to be an unsolved public health problem.”
It has opted for prevention, early diagnosis and current treatments to continue advancing towards the total eradication of AIDS, while regretting that the goals set for 2020 worldwide have not been met.
Lines of action of the CAV
HIV infection is mostly a sexually transmitted infection (STI) so it can be prevented by using condoms and avoiding risky practices.
In more than half of the cases, the diagnosis is late and the immune system is already severely affected, the Department of Health reported in a statement released on the occasion of the celebration this Wednesday, December 1, of World AIDS Day.
For this reason, the CAV maintains “all the lines of action” contemplated in the Basque AIDS and STI Plan, whose purpose is not only prevent infections but also improve the prognosis and prevent people who do not know they are affected from transmitting it without knowing it.
Thus, during 2020 they were made in the pharmacies of Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, 1043 rapid HIV tests. In addition, Osakidetza has three specific STI consultations, one in each territory, and offers online consultations for men who have sex with men. This virtual consultation significantly increased its number of users last year to exceed 200.
With regard to the educational field, we work with a program aimed at youth between 16 and 18 years old to prevent the possible risks associated with sexual intercourse: HIV and AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections and the prevention of unwanted pregnancy. In the last course, 7,800 adolescents participated.
Likewise, the Basque Plan maintains subsidy line aimed at NGOs who work in the field of HIV and whose work has been praised by the counselor Sagardui on this date.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.