Rising Sexual Infections in Luxembourg: Screening and Testing Methods

2023-11-20 14:47:13

We spoke to you about it generally last May, sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in Luxembourg.

While a European-wide virus screening program begins this Monday for HIV, the Ministry of Health has also announced that new cases have literally exploded last year.

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Sexual infections on the rise in Luxembourg

Concretely, a specialized unit of the CHL hospital in Luxembourg City recorded 67 new infections last year, compared to 50 the previous year and 33 in 2020. Women thus represent 39% of new infections.

Authorities also recorded 164 people with the virus who were seen for the first time by a doctor in the country – an increase of 69% compared to 2021, when 97 HIV-positive patients had their first consultation in Luxembourg.

Of these 167 people, 97 had already been infected before 2022 and had been seen by a doctor abroad, specifies the Ministry of Health.

“The sudden increase in the number of diagnosed HIV infections can also be explained by the intensification of testing and the resumption of people’s mobility after the covid-19 pandemic, as well as the reopening of meeting places. »

Several types of screening possible

To make it easier for residents to deal with a potential infection, it is possible to obtain free and anonymous blood tests without a prescription at the CHL in Luxembourg City, at the National Health Laboratory in Dudelange and at the Emile Mayrisch Hospital Center in Esch-sur. -Alzette, as well as in the private laboratories Ketterthill, Bionext and Laboratoires Réunis.

Other screening methods, such as rapid tests and rapid self-tests, also exist, the ministry also recalls.

Ways to get tested

“Classic” screening, by blood test, carried out 6 weeks after the last risk situation, offers a completely reliable result.

Screening by rapid diagnostic orientation test (TROD) makes it possible to obtain a result a few minutes after drawing blood from the fingertip and can be carried out from 12 weeks after the last risk situation. However, you should always consult a healthcare professional to confirm the result of a positive TROD test.

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The HIV self-test, also a TROD, can be obtained without a prescription from a pharmacy or by ordering from HIV Berodung. It allows you to do a screening test yourself, at home and, just like the classic TROD, can be carried out from 12 weeks after the last risk situation. It is also strongly recommended to consult a healthcare professional for interpretation.

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“The sooner people know about their infection, the sooner they can receive appropriate treatment, prevent transmission and improve their health. Today, thanks to advances in HIV treatment, people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives if they are diagnosed early enough and follow their treatment correctly,” the ministry said.

Last year, more than 39 million people worldwide were living with the virus, which is transmitted primarily sexually, and an estimated 630,000 died from HIV-related illnesses, according to the Organization. World Health Organization (WHO).

Still in terms of general figures, between 1 and 1.7 million new infections were recorded worldwide in 2022, which represents a drop compared to the previous year when the WHO estimated that between 1.1 and 2 million people had contracted the virus.

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