HIV/AIDS patient number nearly 7,000 in Turkey
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
CİHAN PhotoThe number of recorded HIV patients in Turkey has reached 6,800, 1,096 of whom are diagnosed with AIDS, according to Health Ministry statistics.
Some 46.1 percent of cases of the infection in Turkey result from heterosexual sexual intercourse, 9.9 of cases result from homosexual sexual intercourse, and 1.9 of cases result from intravenous drug use, according to the ministry.
HIV most frequently occurs in the 20 to 49 age range in Turkey, while 72 percent of all patients are male. The first HIV patient in Turkey was identified in 1985, since when the number of patients has increased every year.
Some 35.3 million people live with the infection globally, according to the World Health Organization.
However, the head of the infection department of Gazi University’s medical faculty, Prof. Dr. Firdevs Aktaş, said this number was only the tip of the iceberg. Recorded numbers of the disease should not be evaluated as actual numbers, as many patients hide their sickness because of social pressure.
“There are people who have the obsession of being infected and there are others who tend to hide and deny the sickness. It is also widespread for some to say, ‘nothing will happen to me.’ The main reason is society’s exclusion of HIV/AIDS patients,” Aktaş said.
She said the main reason for the spread of the infection was sexual intercourse without the use of a condom.
Aktaş also emphasized that AIDS was not a terminal illness anymore, but had become a chronic disease requiring the use of daily pills.