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600 Catalans get HIV every year and 12,000 use AIDS medication

The figures have been stabilising over the last few years, but the Catalan Health Minister, Marina Geli, urges citizens to protect themselves against the disease and says that there is still “a lot” to be done

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02 December 2010 12:03 AM

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ACN
On December 1st, the World acknowledges the impact of HIV, which has killed millions of people around the planet. Coinciding with the 2010 World AIDS Day, the Catalan Health Minister said that about 600 Catalans get the disease every year and 12,000 are on HIV medication. During an event to unveil an AIDS victims\u2019 memorial in Barcelona, Marina Geli said that despite the stabilisation of contagions in the last few years, citizens and politicians should keep alert.
Geli said that people usually do not get the full picture of the situation of AIDS in Catalonia because the disease here \u201Cis not longer associated with death\u201D. However, she said that people should be very careful and prevent any contagion, especially when practising sex. With the motto 'Love yourself. Get an HIV test. Use condoms', Catalonia is participating once again in the events to acknowledge the impact of AIDS all around the world. Campaigners have urged citizens to get HIV tests and have focused on the importance of prevention to fight the disease. Since 2001, when a new project to get HIV tests was put in place, up to 6,129 people have been diagnosed with the disease. Most of them, up to 79%, are men between 25 and 39 years old. In total, since the disease outbreak in the eighties, up to 16,421 in Catalonia have been tested positive for AIDS. Every year, 154 million euros are invested to pay for HIV drugs in Catalonia. All over the world, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1980. About 40 million people worldwide are believed to be infected with the HIV virus. Marina Geli urged citizens to not forget about the terrible consequences of AIDS, and say that it is important that the economic crisis not have an impact on the resources addressed to the fight against the disease.

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  • The memorial to the victims of AIDS, in Barcelona

  • The memorial to the victims of AIDS, in Barcelona