Twenty-five thousand people in France do not know they are HIV-positive
Twenty-five thousand people in France are unaware that they are HIV-positive, which is why the Ministry of Health launches a new campaign to screen for HIV infection (HIV) during the day Dec. 1 World Day devoted to this disease.
This campaign, promoted by the Ministry and the Public Health Agency France, aims to raise awareness of the different screening methods available with the help of four visual „HIV testing methods adapt to your life“ mentioning the AIDS-info-service website.
These posters list the four possibilities: „at home“ (self-test), „result in 20 minutes“ (quick test „TROD“), accompanied („CeGIDD“, free and anonymous screening center), or „reimbursed“ and „in my neighborhood „(lab test).
The campaign covers digital (November 30 to December 20) and advertising (November 30 to December 17), visible to the general public and the most exposed public (migrants from sub-Saharan Africa with a fifth poster in the places community and frequented by homosexuals).
Every year in France, about 6,000 people discover their HIV status, including more than a quarter (27%) at an advanced stage of infection.
In addition, according to Public Health France, an estimated 25,000 people are unaware of their HIV status: about 40% are homosexuals (MSM), 40% of migrants of both sexes are heterosexual, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, and 20% of heterosexuals of both sexes born in France.
„These people do not benefit from effective treatments and can be the source of new infections without knowing it,“ notes the health agency which publishes Tuesday a special issue of the Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin (BEH) on screening.
„The sooner you know your serostatus, the greater the benefit,“ says Dr. François Bourdillon, Director General of Public Health France.
The number of HIV-positive discoveries has decreased by 5% compared to 2013 but remains stable among MSM (2,600 in 2016). Homosexuals and foreign-born heterosexuals (3/4 of whom were born in sub-Saharan Africa) remain the two most affected groups and represent respectively 44% and 39% of diagnoses in 2016.
Heterosexuals born in France and injecting drug users represent 15% and 1%, respectively.
In 2016, 5.4 million HIV serologies were carried out by the laboratories of medical biology, 56,300 rapid diagnostic orientation tests (TROD) were carried out by the associations and 74,650 HIV self-tests sold in pharmacy.
The number of serologies performed by the laboratories of medical biology increased by 3% between 2014 and 2016, with a proportion of confirmed positive serologies of 2/1000.
HIV TRODs represent a lower number of tests, but the positivity rate is higher (8.7 / 1000).
The data show that co-infections with sexually transmitted infections (STIs / STIs) are common at the time of diagnosis of HIV infection or in the 12 months preceding this diagnosis.
The frequency of co-infections has significantly increased over time, from 12.7% in 2012 to 17.5% in 2016 (among homosexuals from 22.1% to 30.9%). Hence the „importance of combining HIV testing with that of other STIs“ to treat the patient and his partners.
The BEH editorial highlights the importance of allowing the rapid test TROD for hepatitis B, to allow triple viral screening (HIV, hepatitis B and C).