The number of new HIV diagnoses is declining
The decline is seen mainly among men who have sex with men and who have become infected in Denmark
Encouraging trend for new HIV diagnoses according to figures from Statens Serum Institut (SSI).
In 2018, a total of 159 persons were notified with newly diagnosed HIV, along with 59 persons who had already been diagnosed abroad. That constitutes a 12-13% decline compared with 2016 and 2017, when the corresponding figures were 182 and 183 new HIV diagnoses, respectively. And the current number represents an even larger decline compared with 2014 and 2015, as more than 200 new HIV diagnoses were recorded in both years, see Figure 1.
”We therefore have reason to believe that HIV is finally following a decreasing trend. The decline is seen mainly among men who have sex with men, which is the largest group of new HIV-diagnosed people.”
The majority infected in Denmark
Among the newly diagnosed persons, 110 were either Danes who had become infected in Denmark or abroad, or immigrants infected after their arrival to Denmark.
The remaining 49 were immigrants who had become infected before their arrival to Denmark. These 49 persons could therefore not have been reached with Danish HIV-preventive measures.
And the majority of infected persons were MSM
Among the newly diagnosed persons, 84 were men who have sex with men (MSM), 67 were infected heterosexually (HTX), one was a child who had become infected at birth in Africa and four were drug users. For three cases, the mode of infection with HIV was unknown.
76% of the MSM and 25% of the HTX had become infected in Denmark.
Among the newly diagnosed MSM, 33% were immigrants. The corresponding share for HTX was 57%.
Among MSM, 40% were tested late. The same applied to 66% of the HTX.
In 2018, subtype B remained the most frequently occurring type among all persons diagnosed with HIV-1 in Denmark, whereas the circulating recombinant form CRF01 was the most frequently occurring type among people who had become infected abroad. Additionally, in 2018, CFR12 was seen for the first time in Denmark, in two patients. Both of these patients had become infected in Denmark.
Several ways to protect yourself
Protection against HIV infection includes, among others, the following:
- Using condoms
- TasP (Treatment as Prevention), i.e., only having unprotected sex with people who are known to be in effective treatment.
- PrEP (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis) HIV medication taken prior to exposure.
- PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) HIV medication taken immediately after exposure.
In 2018, a low level of resistance was observed to both PrEP components in one newly diagnosed patient.