HIV … better to know …

France’s Minister of Health, Roselyne Bachelot, is proposing a scheme in which all those of us between 15 and 70 who live in France will be offered a free HIV test.

France’s Minister of Health, Roselyne Bachelot, is proposing a scheme in which all those of us between 15 and 70 who live in France will be offered a free HIV test.

Family doctors will in December begin to propose to patients within that age parameter to have the test.

According to the minister there are about 50,000 people here who do not know that they are HIV positive.  The test, she says, will prevent those people from infecting others.

The HIV test scheme will run through to 2014 and from now to 2011, ten testing centres will be added to the current number of four hundred. The test will not be obligatory.

There are 150,000 HIV and AIDS cases in France, and at the current rate of contamination 7,000 will be added each year, unless the minister’s scheme works and stops contamination.  Statistics show that in 2003 there had been 8,930 new contaminations.

Forty-five percent of this year’s 7,000 new HIV cases were men who had been contaminated during the sexual act. Of them ten percent were young adults.

Another upsetting statistic is that one out of ten young adults who called in at the HIV testing centres believed that the contraceptive pill was a protection against HIV.

There are 32 million HIV and AIDS sufferers in the world. Sub-Sahara Africa is worst hit and there are more cases – 5.7 million in South Africa – than anywhere in the world.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

One Response to “HIV … better to know …”

  1. 1
    Jo Wake Says:

    Sadly, ignorance about HIV is not limited to French citizens, but on the contrary very widespread. I once mentioned to a guy we knew about his newest girlfriend and HIV, his instant coment “she’s clean” – sorry, that isn’t enough, if you have been in contact with a carrier, doesn’t matter how clean you are, but you can’t get that through to a lot of people.

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