HIV infection rates rising fast

Published: September 1, 2010

Awareness among the general public about the spread of HIV/AIDS is the other main problem, agency workers say, because while the numbers do reflect some clear "risk groups," the tendency for officials to emphasize those groups is dangerous.

"Unfortunately, we still talk about risk groups, so we still talk about gays and those who use drugs, and this makes heterosexuals and non-drug users think HIV infection cannot happen to them," Hlavatý said.

Sobek says he is shocked by the ignorance among young people.

"Young girls think [birth control] pills will save them from getting HIV," he said. "They just don’t have a clue."

An estimated 57.5 percent of those with HIV in the Czech Republic are men who have sex with men, while 30.5 percent are heterosexuals. Two and a half percent are drug users. The majority of those contracting HIV are between the ages of 20 and 29, Hlavatý said.

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