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Aids campaign targets heterosexual men

Ruth Rutmann is leading the campaign against Aids.

(Keystone / Edi Engeler)

An anti-Aids group is calling on Swiss men to behave in a more responsible manner. The call, to mark World Aids Day on December 1, follows new findings, which show that heterosexual men in Switzerland are not protecting themselves properly against Aids.

According to the latest figures, 472 people have been infected with the virus so far this year - a three per cent increase on last year's figure.

The Swiss Aids Federation is concerned that the increase shows that men either do not take Aids seriously enough, or else see it as a problem mainly affecting homosexuals.

"A glance at the latest Swiss Aids statistics causes us concern," federation boss, Ruth Rutman, told a news conference in Bern on Friday.

A study carried out by the group found that there are more than 2.2 million acts of adultery in Switzerland every year. Two per cent of men said they sometimes visited prostitutes, while 16 per cent admitted to having unprotected sex.

Rutman said the group had counselled clients of prostitutes in six Swiss towns as part of a pilot project aimed at preventing the spread of the disease, for which there is no known cure. She said first results were encouraging and the project was now being extended across the country.

Stop Aids also issued an appeal to the government to take seriously its responsibility towards fighting HIV and Aids, which affect more than 20,000 people in Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

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