Around 5000 people in Portugal are HIV positive without knowing

The good news is that the number of people infected with HIV has dropped in Portugal since last year, but still there are “at least 5000 people who are infected” with the virus and don’t know, says a new study presented in Glasgow (Scotland) today. Data shows that the average time for a diagnosis in Portugal after a person is infected is around four years.

This breaks down further between homosexual men (2.5 years) and heterosexuals (4.5 years).

The new data points to a total of 45,000 people infected in Portugal, of which only 500 were deemed HIV positive this year.

The study, formulated by Portuguese specialists in articulation with the European Centre for Disease Control, suggests that by 2030 HIV/ AIDS could have become a disease showing only ‘isolated cases’.

António Diniz, a former director of the national programme for HIV infection said it was still too early to talk about “the day of eradication” of the disease, as there will almost certainly always be isolated cases, but he thinks it is possible that the disease will stop being ‘epidemic in character’. The only way for it to be eradicated is through the development of a vaccine, he stressed – and even that being able to work on a global scale would be “complicated”.

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