Around 20 people in Carinthia contract HIV every year through unprotected sexual intercourse. But that is no longer a death sentence if the infection is recognized and treated early enough. AIDS Day on December 1st draws attention to this.
Medical progress in the treatment of HIV infections and the AIDS disease it causes gives hope for the fight against Covid-19. 30 years ago HIV and AIDS were still a death sentence, today the infection is easily treatable. It is important to start therapy early, said senior physician Manfred Kanatschnig. He looks after 250 HIV patients in the special outpatient clinic at the Klagenfurt Clinic: “The therapies have developed extremely well over the past few years. Unfortunately, between 20 and 30 percent of HIV-positive people receive their diagnosis at a time when their immune system is already weakened . Then we lose the patients, ”says Kanatschnig.
Every third HIV-positive person is diagnosed very late
As he explained, the onset of infection was accompanied by flu-like symptoms. “After that you have no symptoms at all for up to ten years and you feel absolutely healthy. It would be important at this time to diagnose the disease. Because then suddenly there are severe symptoms – and the therapy can no longer work. “
Then the chances are less good if the diagnosis is made very late and only after the onset of the disease, as is currently the case with every third person affected. That is why Aids-Hilfe and the Province of Carinthia are calling on you to take advantage of the free HIV tests provided by AIDS Help. Health officer Beate Prettner (SPÖ): “That is why it is so important to be tested. There is no better ‘medicine’ than the test for HIV.”
Free tests at AIDS help
There is a week of testing around World AIDS Day on December 1st, but free tests are always possible, according to Günther Nagele, the head of Aids Aid Carinthia: “Between 15 and 20 people take advantage of this offer every week. However, the coronavirus is bothering us. During the first lockdown we had to lock up and could not do any tests. Now, in the second lockdown, we can keep it open. However, it is to be feared that fewer people will come. ”The tests are evaluated in the AGES laboratory in Vienna. “The results are already available two days later, always on Thursday,” said Nagele.
AIDS Aid is currently having a harder time with its information and prevention work in schools. Because of the coronavirus measures, the experts can hardly personally inform the young people how to protect themselves against HIV, namely with a condom during sex.