HIV infections drop by a third

Measures to curb the spread of coronavirus have had an influence on sexual behaviour Keystone

The 236 registered HIV infections reported in Switzerland at the end of 2020 are about a third fewer than for the same period last year, according to the Federal Office of Public Health.

This content was published on November 23, 2020 - 10:00

The Swiss AIDS Federation attributes this to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Either people have been tested less for HIV during the coronavirus period or they have had fewer unprotected sexual contacts,” Nathan Schocher, head of the People with HIV programme at the Swiss AIDS Federation, told Swiss public radio, SRF, on Monday.

Schocher said the measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus had also had an influence on sexual behaviour. “For example, the elimination of meeting places. The clubs and bars that had closed and the curfew had changed people’s sexual behaviour,” he said.

According to UNAIDSExternal link, 38 million around the world were living with HIV in 2019 and 1.7 million became newly infected. Last year 690 000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses, taking the total number of AIDS-related deaths to 32.7 million since the start of the epidemic.

In Switzerland around 17,000 people were living with HIV in 2018.

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