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New Aids carriers 'infected in Africa'
Africa
Prevention programmes will target people travelling abroad
Most new cases of HIV and AIDS among heterosexuals originated in Africa, new figures show.

Department of Health statistics reveal that more than three-quarters of heterosexuals in the UK who contracted the virus last year were infected in Africa.

The figures were announced by junior health minister Lord Hunt in the House of Lords.

Addressing peers, Lord Hunt said: "The latest figures I have for 1999 show that the number of new diagnoses in heterosexuals exceeded those in gay and bisexual men.

"And for those that have been classified by place of infection, 77% were in Africa."

Prevention

Lord Hunt said the Department of Health education programme on HIV and AIDS would in future target people travelling abroad.

"In terms of any targeted prevention programme in the future, we have to think very carefully about how best to get the message through, particularly in the context of people travelling abroad."

The Department of Health is to spend 3m this year on sexual health promotion, including HIV and AIDS.

A further 54m is being spent by health authorities in England on prevention.


We have to think very carefully about how best to get the message through, particularly in the context of people travelling abroad

Lord Hunt
A spokesman for the National Aids Trust said the figures showed that prevention programmes must target members of the black community, as well as other high-risk groups.

"There is a need to focus on the black African community, particularly in London.

"We have known for some time that there is a high incidence of new infections among people who travel to Africa and in particular those who travel to the sub-Sahara."

But he said prevention programmes must continue to focus on gay men and drug users.

"These groups are most at risk at contracting the virus and it is important they are targeted.

"We must also continue to get the message out to young people who are having sex for the first time."

See also:

09 Jun 00 | Health
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