site.bta299 New HIV Cases Registered in Bulgaria in 2022
Since the beginning of 2022, 299 new HIV-positive cases have been registered in Bulgaria, the Health Ministry said Wednesday. From 1986 to November 25 this year, 4,020 people were registered as infected with HIV in Bulgaria. The male-to-female ratio continued to rise in 2022, reaching 1.8/1.
HIV-positive people in Bulgaria are two to three times more than the officially registered number, Dr Tonka Vurleva, who is a member of the Strategy Committee of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said in a BTA interview. She also said that of the 299 cases registered in Bulgaria since the start of 2022, 25-30% are foreign citizens, and a large number of them are persons from Ukraine.
Researchers continue working on creating a vaccine against HIV, said Dr Vurleva. She said the vaccine is difficult to create because of the virus mutations.
Worldwide, more than 6 million people are infected with HIV and are unaware of that, she added.
According to preliminary data, from the beginning of 2022 until the end of October, more than 230,000 persons were tested for HIV infection in the country. Sexual transmission is reported among 94% of new cases of HIV infection. Of all new cases, 4.7% were infected through injecting drug use.
The age group most affected by HIV infection was 30-39-year-olds, followed by 40-49-year-olds. The geographical distribution shows that the majority of newly infected with HIV are mainly in Sofia - 30%, and in Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna - 12% each. One third of new cases in 2022 are foreign nationals from different regions of the world. The rate of newly reported HIV cases per 100,000 population for Bulgaria is 2.9 in 2020, while the average for EU countries is 3.3. The Health Ministry provides free antiretroviral therapy to those in need, regardless of their health insurance status, the press service added.
World AIDS Day is marked on December 1, and in 2022 it is under the theme "Equalize!". According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 38.4 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, with 1.5 million newly infected and 650 000 deaths in 2021. Worldwide in 2021, 75% of those living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy.
In Bulgaria, the World AIDS Day will be celebrated with various initiatives, the list of which is published on the website of the Health Ministry.