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Annual report on HIV and AIDS in Portugal released with 44% drop in new cases, but there is still a way to go in pre-exposure prophylaxis

Annual report on HIV and AIDS in Portugal released with 44% drop in new cases, but there is still a way to go in pre-exposure prophylaxis

The National Institute of Health Dotor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) and the Directorate General of Health (DGS) presented the annual report addressing the situation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Portugal. This document was prepared by the Reference and Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Division of Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Health, in cooperation with the National Program for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV Infection (PNISTVIH) of the General Directorate of Public Security.

Key points of the report on HIV and AIDS in Portugal

  • Number of HIV cases reported in 2020-2021: According to data collected up to October 31, 2022, Portugal reported 1,803 cases of HIV infection during the biennium 2020-2021, with 870 cases in 2020 and 933 cases in 2021.
  • Significant decrease in new cases: Between 2012 and 2021, there has been a noticeable 44% discount In the number of new HIV infections and 66% In new cases of AIDS. By comparison, the number of HIV infections in Amsterdam has fallen by 95% since 2010, thanks in part to a pre-exposure prophylaxis campaign.
  • Infected file: The majority of new cases (71.8%) occurred in adolescents and adults (≥ 15 years) in men (2.5 cases per case in women). The median age at diagnosis was 39 years, 63.6% of new cases were between 25 and 49 years of age, and 27.6% were 50 years of age or older. During the period analysed, there were four cases of HIV infection among children (two in 2020 and two in 2021).
  • Transportation methods: Although heterosexual transmission remains the most common (51.8%), cases in men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the majority of new diagnoses in men (56.0%). The rate of new HIV diagnoses was highest among residents of the Lisbon metropolitan area, followed by the Algarve region.
  • HIV-related deaths: There were 298 deaths of people living with HIV reported, including 148 in 2020 and 150 in 2021. Notably, 24.5% of deaths occurred more than 20 years after diagnosis.
  • Cumulative statistics: As of December 31, 2021, Portugal has recorded a total of 64,257 cases of HIV infection, of which 23,399 have reached the AIDS stage, resulting in 15,555 deaths.
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Access the full report: Annual report on HIV and AIDS in Portugal

This report provides vital information about the status of HIV infection in Portugal, current prevention measures and future strategies to combat this disease. The decline in new cases and deaths represents significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.

Regarding the importance that PrEP can have in the fight against HIV/AIDS, it is important to read the interview with him Rui Guerreiro from CheckpointLx on HIV: “Hospital prophylaxis does not provide an answer for those who need it most”.