AIDS ribbon 88.
(photo credit: )
An international scientific conference on AIDS is under way in Vienna, with 25,000 participants, including former US president Bill Clinton, who established a major fund for financing AIDS treatment and prevention in the developing world.
To mark the event, the Health Ministry said on Monday that 6,140 Israelis had been diagnosed as HIV carriers or as having fullblown AIDS. Of these, 3,907 were men, and most of them either were born in countries where AIDS is endemic or had had sex with other men.
Homosexuals are the majority of people infected, even though the virus
is also spread heterosexually, said the ministry, which sent Dr.
Zohar Mor, head of its tuberculosis and AIDS department, to the
conference to present findings from new Israeli studies.
One Internet-based study carried out by Mor’s department found that men
who have sex with men who are their regular partners are not protected
against infection if they are not monogamous. It also found that men who
have sex with other men and do not use a condom are at especially high
risk if they do so under the influence of “club drugs.”
The ministry’s Tel Aviv Levinsky Clinic for sexually infectious diseases
found that the AIDS infection risk for male homosexuals is four times
higher than that of heterosexuals who visit the clinic to be tested. The
ministry spokeswoman said it tries to increase awareness of the disease
by distributing educational material and condoms at gay clubs and
offers free tests to people at high risk.