Among the 420 newly diagnosed cases of HIV in Israel in 2010, 148 of them were
homosexual men, according to the Health Ministry, which is worried about the
“dramatic increase” in infection among gay men. They constituted half of all men
who were newly diagnosed.
The ministry released figures to mark World
AIDS Day, December 1.
They were collected by Dr. Zohar Mor, adviser to
the head of public health services for tuberculosis and AIDS in the Health
Ministry, and the voluntary organization Hoshen. The figures were four times
higher than the figures of HIV-infected men in 2000.
According to 2010
data, a fifth of the 2,000 gay men who participated in a study did not use
condoms during the previous six months.
This was the same rate as in
The fact that HIV/AIDS is increasingly regarded as a chronic rather
than a fatal disease has produced laxity in protection among highrisk groups. A
minority of patients die of AIDS due to the more effective AIDS “cocktail” of
drugs provided at government expense, Mor said. Others who are infected are
heterosexuals, drug users and people who originated in countries where AIDS is
In Israel, between 1981, when the virus was discovered, until
the end of 2010, a total of 6,579 cases of HIV and full-blown AIDS were
diagnosed. Of those diagnosed, 1,330 died or left the country.
5,249 HIV carriers and AIDS patients live here today.
stresses the need for condom use on websites frequented by homosexuals. It said
Monday it is looking into the possibility of finding money to subsidize anti-HIV
medications for foreigners who lack health insurance and those who are not
living here legally.
The network of AIDS testing centers was
significantly changed in the last year, as the centers began to use the
“fourth-generation” kit, which shortens the “window” of time between infection
and when the virus shows up in the blood to just seven weeks.
identify themselves are tested in health funds and hospital HIV centers, but in
the past year, people who did not want to identify themselves were able to get
tested in the ministry’s sex clinics, the clinic of the Israel AIDS Task Force
and the Open House in Jerusalem. Speedy tests that provide an answer in 20
minutes are also available.
As for drug users, a needleexchange program
to avoid HIV, and hepatitis B and C, has entered its fifth year. There are five
such exchange centers in the country.
Rambam Medical Center in Haifa said
that since today, people with AIDS live longer, preparations are being made to
help patients that have reached the age of pension. At its clinical immunology
institute, there are a number of HIV/AIDS patients aged 65 and over. The oldest
is 69. The fact that carriers live longer also tends to increase the number of
On December 1, volunteers and AIDS clinic doctors in
Haifa will go to nearby Israel Railways stations and perform blood tests for
those who want them. Condoms and information booklets will also be
To mark the 30th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS, Tel
Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and the Israel AIDS Task Force, among others, will
hold a marathon of free HIV testing on Friday between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
on Friday at Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv. An ID card must be shown.
information on HIV/AIDS is available from the website www.safe-sex.co.il.