HIV Epidemic among Drug Users in Iceland Skip to content

HIV Epidemic among Drug Users in Iceland

There is currently an epidemic of HIV infections among intravenous drug users in Iceland; new infections are increasing rapidly in this group. The latest statistics show that 17 individuals were diagnosed with HIV infections this year, of whom 13 are addicts.

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Landspítali is the white building in the foreground. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

“There have never been more drug users diagnosed with new [HIV] infections as this year,” Magnús Gottfredsson, a specialist in contagious diseases at the Landspítali hospital in Reykjavík and professor at the University of Iceland medical department, told Morgunbladid, pointing out that they numbered ten in 2010.

He recently met his colleague at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm who told him that four drug users had been diagnosed with HIV infections in Sweden this year, which has more than nine million inhabitants, compared to Iceland’s population of 320,000 people.

“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,” Gottfredsson explained.

ESA

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