World AIDS Day on December 1st, 1988, was launched by the WHO. In these three decades incredible successes have been achieved in the fight against HIV / AIDS, especially in the development of HIV therapy. “While AIDS was previously considered a certain death sentence, nowadays an early HIV diagnosis can be assumed to have a normal life expectancy with a good quality of life”, said today, Thursday, health officer Beate Prettner at a press conference.
“That’s why it’s so important to get tested. There is no better ‘medicine’ for HIV than the test, ”said Prettner in favor of taking advantage of the free tests. These are carried out weekly in the aidsHilfe Kärnten in Klagenfurt – every Tuesday from 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. “Between 15 and 20 people take advantage of this offer every week. However, Corona is bothering us: During the first lockdown, we had to lock up and could not carry out any tests. Now, in the second lockdown, we can keep it open. However, it is to be feared that fewer people will come, ”said Günther Nagele, head of aidsHilfe Kärnten. By the way: The tests are evaluated in the AGES laboratory in Vienna. “The results are already available two days later, always on Thursday,” explained Nagele. Prevention work is also affected by the corona situation – especially in schools. “Due to the school closings in the spring, it was not possible to carry out school prevention without any obstacles. At the moment we see each other again in this situation. There is an urgent need to educate young people about the dangers – and to create awareness, ”said Nagele.
New infections in Carinthia
Last year 1.7 million new infections were registered worldwide and 800,000 people died as a result of HIV infection. In Austria, 397 new diagnoses were made in 2018, 17 of them in Carinthia. In the previous year there were 430 new diagnoses in Austria and 20 in Carinthia. “There are currently 270 Carinthians in therapy, 225 of them in the clinic”, informed senior physician Manfred Kanatschnig. “The therapies have made excellent progress 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. 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. ”Hence his appeal:“ Let yourself be tested! ”
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the AIDS test week starts tomorrow, Friday, across Austria: It runs through November 27th. In Carinthia, the tests are carried out at aidsHilfe (Klagenfurt, Bahnhofstrasse 22).