The Czech Republic remains a low HIV prevalence country

In the Czech Republic, 249 new cases of HIV infection had occurred among Czech citizens and residents, i.e., foreigners with long-term residence, by the end of October this year.

The Czech Republic thus remains a country with a relatively low HIV/AIDS infection, the State Institute of Health (SZU) said in a press release on World AIDS Day on Tuesday. The proportion of residents has been rising over the long term, with more than half of them moving here this year for the first time.

Last year, 233 cases of HIV infection were recorded for the entire year, including 102 residents. This year, the institute is also registering 537 HIV-positive refugees from Ukraine. Most knew about their HIV positivity and applied for continued treatment in the Czech Republic.

“We can conclude that even in 2022, the Czech Republic will remain a country with a relatively low level of HIV/AIDS infection in the world and Europe, both in terms of the relative number of new cases, which is around two cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and in terms of the cumulative number of HIV infections,” the SZÚ said.

Of the 249 new cases of HIV infection this year, 139 were residents, 61 more than in the same period last year. “The increase is mainly related to the higher number of newly registered Ukrainians living in the Czech Republic and therefore do not have refugee status. Two-thirds of them knew about their HIV positivity, they had been receiving treatment in Ukraine, and due to the war situation, they asked for continuity of treatment for HIV infection in the Czech Republic,” said Marek Malý, head of the biostatistics department of the National Health Institute.

Among the newly infected are 201 men and 48 women. The average age of the newly diagnosed cases was 38.2 years, with an age range of 18 to 70 years. About a third of the newly infected people reported usual residence in Prague, a tenth in the South Moravian Region, and less than nine percent in the Central Bohemian Region.

In the first ten months of this year, the institute also registered 41 cases of AIDS among Czech citizens and residents; these were late cases when HIV infection was detected only at the AIDS stage. Ten patients with AIDS have died, and the statistics also record four deaths of HIV patients due to other causes.