Eighteen New HIV Infections in Iceland Skip to content

Eighteen New HIV Infections in Iceland

The number of individuals diagnosed with HIV infections in Iceland in 2012 has fallen from 23 in 2011 to 18, thereof 13 men and five women. Four are known intravenous drug users and are likely connected to those addicts who were diagnosed in 2010 and 2011, Morgunblaðið reports.

nationalhospital-hallgrimskirkja_ipaLandspítali National University Hospital. Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.

Last year, a HIV epidemic among drug users was declared with a record number of new infections. Of the people diagnosed with HIV in 2011, 13 were reported to be drug users—a high number given Iceland’s population of 320,000.

Specialist in contagious diseases at Landspítali National University Hospital, Magnús Gottfreðsson, said at the time that infection spreads quickly among drug users. “The experience tells us that as soon as an infection is carried into a group of drug users the infection spreads quickly, especially because people are sharing syringes and needles.”

The average age of those diagnosed in 2012 is 37 for men and 34 for women. According to Chief Epidemiologist at the Directorate of Health Haraldur Briem, eight of the individuals were infected abroad and ten in Iceland.

Haraldur says that there have been discussions about lowering the VAT on condoms in Iceland in order to try to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but nothing has been done.

According to statistics from UNAIDS, around 34 million people around the world are HIV positive. New infections have decreased by around 50 percent in 25 countries.

Related stories:

April 12 | Hundreds of Addicts Use Red Cross Van for Injections

September 6, 2011 | HIV Epidemic among Drug Users in Iceland


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