Only 1 in 6 Latvian HIV patients gets treatment

Approximately 1,000 persons out of the total number of 6,000 HIV patients in Latvia receive specific treatment at the moment, Jana Feldmane, senior official at the Health Ministry's Public Health Department, said Monday.

This is a comparatively low indicator, said Feldmane. This is primarily due to the fact that treatment of HIV in Latvia, as compared to other European Union countries, often begins too late.

Those patients who are not treated for HIV regularly visit their doctor and their condition is monitored, up until a moment they meet the criteria for receiving treatment for HIV.

HIV treatment is meant to not only improve a patient's condition, it is also a preventive measure to ensure that the person cannot infect other people.

European countries have committed themselves to oust HIV by 2030, hoping that no new HIV cases will be registered in Europe after 2030. "If we look at these targets, we will have a lot to do, and we are just at the very beginning. However, if there is resolve, if we support each other, very much can be achieved," stressed Feldmane.

Aleksandrs Molokovskis, head of the "HIV.LV" association, said that HIV patients in Europe mostly die of diseases that are not associated with HIV, which is thanks to quality treatment they are provided. HIV treatment can also achieve that, regardless of the level of immune cells, the person cannot infect other people with HIV, he added.

As reported, a total of 347 new HIV infections and 171 AIDS cases were registered in Latvia in 2014. In the first six months this year, 165 new HIV cases and 42 new AIDS cases were registered.

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