Number of people with HIV-positive rises: Expert

Number of people with HIV-positive rises: Expert

Number of people with HIV-positive rises: Expert

The number of people infected annually with HIV in Turkey is gradually rising, a health professional says.

Speaking to Demirören News Agency on Dec. 1, the day marked internationally as World AIDS Day to raise awareness of the disease, Şua Sümer from Selçuk University said that the number of HIV-positive people across the country increased by 7,000 in the last three years.

Recalling that the first official record for an HIV-positive patient in Turkey was made in 1985, Sümer said there have been around 28,000-29,000 registered HIV cases since Jan. 1, however, this figure was around 21,000-22,000 in 2018.

Sümer stressed that these figures are only “known” ones, adding that the number of people who died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2020 in the world was estimated to be around 680,000.

“It is most commonly transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. It is more common in people who have multiple sexual partners,” Sümer said, noting that it was also seen in patients of different age groups.

Noting that the disease can be controlled within six months if the diagnosis is made early and the treatment is started, the doctor emphasized that death occurs only in patients who do not want to be treated, remain untreated, or refuse treatment.

“We cannot completely cure, but we can stop it,” Sümer noted.