An international scientific conference on AIDS opened 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 on Monday.
To mark the event, the Health Ministry said that so far, 6,140 Israelis have been diagnosed as HIV carriers and as having full-blown AIDS. Of these, 3,907 were men, and most of these were born in countries where AIDS is endemic or have themselves had sex with other men.
Homosexuals are increasingly the majority of people infected, even though the virus is spread heterosexually, said the ministry, which sent Dr. Zohar Mor, the head of its tuberculosis and AIDS department, to the conference to present the results of new Israeli studies. One is based on an Internet study carried out by the department that found 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."