Increasing number of HIV cases recorded in Georgia

This year 515 new HIV infection cases were registered, which is 25 more than in 2013., 01 Dec 2014 - 12:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

The number of people suffering from HIV (Immunodeficiency Virus) in Georgia is on a slight upward trend, latest medical data reveals.

This year to date, 515 new HIV infection cases were registered with the country’s leading research centre – 25 more than 2013. Last year 490 cases of new infections were registered.

Although this year’s figures were higher than 2013 data, the figures were lower than the 526 new infection cases recorded in 2012.

Latest information from the Georgian AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center stated more than 4,646 people (3,413 men and 1,233 women) infected with HIV were currently registered in Georgia. Although officials at the Centre believed the unofficial number of people suffering from HIV or AIDS was much higher – possibly 6,000 cases – which was a "solid number for a small country like Georgia”.

Meanwhile in about 50 percent of people with HIV in Georgia, the immune disease has developed into AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). The Centre’s figures showed a total of 2,816 HIV patients had developed AIDS, of which 966 died.

The Government was doing its best to offer treatment to infected citizens. Currently 2,426 registered patients are undergoing medical treatment, including 45 children and 304 patients in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region.

Most of those infected with HIV or AIDS are between 29 and 40 years old.

Latest figures revealed the highest percentage of patients living with HIV or AIDS were registered in Tbilisi (1,532). The second largest group were registered in the Samegrelo region, in western Georgia.

The transmission of HIV was most common through drug injection of infected syringes. This method of contracting HIV was responsible for 50 percent of case, the Centre said. The next most common way of contracting HIV was though heterosexual contact (41 percent).

The first case of HIV/AIDS infection was detected in Georgia in 1989.