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International News

Wales: Rise in HIV Cases Prompts Tests for Pregnant Women

April 5, 2002

Advocates are stepping up the battle against HIV/AIDS in Wales amid fears that the number of new cases has doubled in the last 12 months. The latest National Assembly figures show there were 45 new HIV cases in 2000, raising the total by 7.5 percent. But early indications suggest that there will be 90 new cases reported for 2001, bringing the number of infected to 735, an annual increase of 14 percent.

Alarmed by the increasing epidemic, the National Assembly and the Terrence Higgins Trust in Wales have launched a new health promotion campaign. Next month all pregnant women in Wales will be offered the chance to have an HIV test in an attempt to reduce the number of children born with the disease. Dr. Olwen Williams, one of Wales's leading specialists in sexual health, said, "There has been a rise in the number of heterosexual women who are being treated for HIV. So it follows that there will be a rise in the number of pregnant women with HIV."

According to Williams' calculations, there should be only one HIV-positive birth per year, but last year there were more than that in Wales. She said that 25-40 percent of undetected mothers would give birth to HIV-positive infants, but the risk could be cut to 2-3 percent if doctors could act early.

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Adapted from:
Western Mail (Wales, U.K.)
03.30.02; Patrick Fletcher

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More HIV Statistics on the United Kingdom