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Latvia's Public Health Agency Releases HIV/AIDS Data

March 24, 2009

Latvia's Public Health Agency recently released data about HIV/AIDS in the country in 2008, indicating that the spread of the virus through heterosexual contact is increasing, the Baltic Times reports. According to the data, 163 people -- primarily women between ages 15 and 24 -- newly contracted HIV last year. This figure represents about half of all HIV cases registered in 2008, according to the Times. In addition, 22 cases last year involved men who have sex with men, and 100 cases were recorded among injection drug users. Eight cases were recorded among infants because of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Young women whose partners are injection drug users also are at an increased risk of the virus, the data indicate.

Ninety-one people were diagnosed with AIDS in Latvia in 2008, and the country recorded 144 HIV/AIDS-related deaths last year. The incidence of sexually transmitted infections decreased by an average of 15% last year, and a total of 1,519 STI cases were recorded. About 60% of STI patients last year were men between ages 18 and 29 (Baltic Times, 3/23).

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