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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 December 2005, 07:28 GMT
Complacency warning on Aids day
Aids awareness ribbon
Experts want to dispel some of the myths about HIV/Aids
Health experts have issued a World Aids Day warning about complacency.

Dr Syed Ahmed, public health consultant with NHS Greater Glasgow, said many people were still putting themselves at risk by having unprotected sex.

He stressed there was still no cure for the disease - even though drug treatments meant many of those with HIV could live healthy lives for years.

The number of new cases reached an all-time high in 2004 - and is expected to climb even further this year.

There were 364 new cases of HIV diagnosed in 2004, with 360 cases already being identified between January and November this year.

Anyone can be vulnerable to HIV - men, women, gay people, straight people, young, old, everyone
Dr Syed Ahmed
Public health consultant

Dr Ahmed said too many people in Scotland were unaware they were at risk.

"The myth still persists in some places that HIV/Aids is an illness that affects particular groups of people, and that's just not the case," he said.

"Anyone can be vulnerable to HIV - men, women, gay people, straight people, young, old, everyone."

Those worried about the disease can receive free testing and counselling at the Sandyford Initiative in Glasgow.

Practical support

Meanwhile, there has been government praise for Scottish aid agencies fighting to tackle the disease in Malawi.

Their efforts were hailed by the minister with responsibility for international development, Patricia Ferguson.

She said: "These projects offer practical support from skilled professionals and volunteers working alongside their Malawian colleagues.

"It's also about our sharing common humanity, supporting Malawian people in their efforts to deal with a devastating pandemic sweeping through their country."

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