People in Germany still become infected with HIV every year. In Berlin alone, the Robert Koch Institute estimates that almost 16,500 people are currently living with the virus. Condoms are still one of the most important prevention measures.
3,200 people were newly infected with HIV in Germany in 2015, according to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Compared to previous years, the number of new infections thus remains constant. Although the news is positive in a global comparison, experts still consider AIDS to be a health risk for Germany. It is important to emphasize that AIDS is not just a disease of homosexual men – HIV can also be contracted during heterosexual sexual intercourse, as can the use of contaminated needles when taking drugs.
Blood test reduces risk
AIDS occurs as a result of infection with the HIV virus. The virus attacks the cells of the human immune system, multiplies in them and destroys them. The weakened immune system can then no longer react appropriately to infections that are actually harmless. The body develops increasingly severe infections or cancers that often lead to death. There are now numerous very good drugs on the market for the treatment of HIV infection. Although this increases the life expectancy of patients, it cannot remove the virus from the body. According to the latest estimates, around 84,700 people were living with HIV in Germany at the end of 2015, 12,600 of whom were unaware of their infection. To avoid unintentionally passing on the virus, everyone should have their blood tested for antibodies before or after unprotected sex. It is important to note that the test can only reliably rule out an HIV infection three months after a risk of infection.
Condoms are still one of the most important means of prevention. They protect against infection during sex. Important: only use quality condoms whose expiration date has not yet passed. And with latex condoms, only use lubricants that are free of grease.