“A lot of cases are diagnosed late,” warned Andrea Brunner, who has been managing director of Aids-Hilfe Wien since September. “The later the diagnosis, the more difficult it will be with the therapy,” she emphasized before World AIDS Day on December 1st, the importance of getting tested.
If HIV infection is discovered at an early stage, those affected could often “live very well” with therapy, as with a chronic illness, explained Brunner.
A project is currently being prepared on the problem of late diagnoses, which is not purely Austrian. Those affected by late diagnoses are mostly men around 50 years of age, often not from the urban area, said Aids-Hilfe-Vienna chairman Stefan Dobias. That is why attempts are being made to create more offers in rural areas.
Don’t forget AIDS in Corona times!
Aids-Hilfe Wien wants to see itself as a “center for sexual health” in the future and expand this entire area more, said Dobias. This could reach more people than the topic of HIV and AIDS alone and increase awareness that this affects all sexually active people. In addition to HIV, it is about hepatitis B and C and other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis or chlamydia.
According to Brunner, there is great uncertainty among infected people as to whether their therapy can be continued because of the corona crisis. “Yes, it can and does happen,” she emphasized. This is important because interruptions in treatment are “bad,” said Brunner. “The fight against the HIV pandemic must not be forgotten by the corona pandemic.”
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