Georgia: 577 New HIV/AIDS Cases in 2017

The 11-month statistics of 2017 revealed that 577 new cases of HIV / AIDS have been detected in Georgia. The information was released by the Center for Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology on World AIDS Day, annually marked on December 1.

There are currently 6711 cases of HIV / AIDS registered in Georgia. Among the patients, 5,013 are men and 1,698 women. The majority of infected people are from 29 to 39 years old.

The Center reports that the first case of AIDS in Georgia was observed in 1989 and, by 2017, the number of HIV / AIDS patients (including registered and unregistered) is now suspected to have reached 12,000. According to the latest data, AIDS has developed in 3,648 patients, while 1,339 people have died from AIDS in Georgia since 1989.

“At present, 4,018 patients are undergoing proper treatment, among them 48 are children. Despite the fact that the country has avoided a large scale epidemic of AIDS, the number of HIV-infected individuals is growing annually,” the AIDS center of Georgia said.

The Center believes that in order to reduce the spread of the decease, all people should undergo a simple test and, if positive, begin treatment.

The AIDS Association has started a campaign with the motto: "Let's examine everybody, treat everyone and defeat the AIDS epidemic in Georgia.”

Tengiz Tsertsvadze, the Head of the AIDS Center, says the statistics are alarming in men, adding that cases of new infections resulting from sex have increased from 5% to 25% over the last ten years.

“44% of men were infected during sex and 43% were infected as a result of drug addiction. Every fourth man who has had sexual relations with other men has AIDS,” Tsertsvadze said.

Health Minister David Sergeenko stated that the Infectious Disease and AIDS Center's infrastructure is in poor condition, and has promised the construction of a new clinic will start soon.

“The land has already been acquired in Digomi district. The design works are almost complete and the new clinic will open within two years," Sergeenko said.

Leader of the parliamentary Georgian Dream (GD) majority, Archil Talakvadze, said that the Government, Parliament, civil society and the healthcare sector will prioritize putting an end to the HIV / AIDS epidemic in Georgia.

“Georgia has very good conditions to join and fulfill the global challenge and promise - End the AIDS Epidemic. We believe the AIDS treatment and prevention-related services should be in line with the Hepatitis C program. This will help to detect and treat AIDS cases more effectively," he said.

Thea Morrison

04 December 2017 18:02