Nearly all Czech HIV-infected people undergo treatment
More than 95 percent of the HIV-infected people underwent treatment in 2018, while 75 percent of them underwent treatment in 2013, the National Institute of Public Health told a press conference held today on occasion of the World AIDS Day that will take place on Sunday.
The patients who do not undergo treatment include foreigners who return to their home country and Czechs who move abroad as there is no way to find out whether they undergo treatment in a foreign country or not, said Vratislav Nemecek who heads the institute’s National reference laboratory for HIV/AIDS.
Since 1986, roughly 3,600 HIV-positive people have been registered in the country, AIDS has developed in 663 of them and 308 of them have died of it. Nearly 900 of those tested HIV-positive in Czechia are foreigners who settled in the country.
The institute estimates that 500 people do not know that they are HIV-positive and nearly half of them are foreigners based in Czechia. Foreign residents represent one third of the HIV-positive patients diagnosed this year.
Experts say the modern antiretroviral therapy maximally suppresses the virus and stops the progression of the HIV disease. The life expectancy of these patients is the same as that of the common population. They can have unprotected sex without infecting the partner and have healthy children. However, it is crucial that their infection is revealed soon enough and that they start undergoing treatment.
Nemecek said mostly homosexual men get HIV-infected among Czechs, among foreigners it is often spread among heterosexuals.
Hana Zakoucka, head of the institute’s department of sexually transmitted diseases, said they were trying to contact doctors who work in the communities of foreigners.
The costs of HIV prevention in the country are estimated at one billion crowns a year.
Nemecek said transmission among injecting drug users is not frequent mainly because there are almost no HIV-positive among them. New injection equipment is provided to the drug users primarily to reduce hepatitis C transmission, he said.