NEWS

AIDS cases are on the wane

Infection with the virus that causes AIDS is on the decline in Greece, while sufferers diagnosed with the deadly disease after 1996 have 46 percent less of a chance of dying than people who contracted AIDS before that, experts said yesterday. At a press conference ahead of the 14th National AIDS Conference that opened in Thessaloniki yesterday, doctors said that although infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus was on a steady increase throughout the 1990s – peaking at 723 cases in 1999 – things have steadily improved ever since. In 2000, 515 people were registered as HIV-positive, and 433 in 2001, according to figures published by the Ministry of Health’s Center for the Control of Special Infections (KEEL). In the first half of this year there were 218 new cases, mostly men aged 25-44, while 17 people died of AIDS. There were 50 deaths in 2001. The worst year for AIDS deaths in Greece was 1995, when 152 people died of the disease. A total of 6,088 people had been registered as HIV-positive in Greece by the end of June.