BERN Last year saw 575 new HIV infections in Switzerland, an 8% decrease compared to 2012. Though encouraging, the numbers are still too high for Swiss authorities, whose aim is to reduce the figure to 350 annually by 2017. A new campaign tackling sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), seeks to curb detrimental sexual behaviour through remorse: “Love life, don’t regret anything”. Statistics show that one in three people regret past sexual behaviour. The campaign accentuates this societal reality, while acknowledging the importance of sex in peoples’ lives. However, far from making existing sexual trends a taboo subject, it seeks to reinstate ones responsibility towards one’s body – and that of others – through educated prevention.
Other STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis also remain a major concern for health officials. Switzerland saw a 7% increase in reported gonorrhea cases in 2013, and 8,528 new chlamydia infections. As far as HIV is concerned, teenagers and young adults are relatively unscathed, with most cases diagnosed among individuals between 35 and 41 years of age. In 2012, HIV notifications were particularly prevalent in cantons Glarus, Schaffhausen and Basel-Stadt. With 131,202 new HIV infections reported through WHO’s European Region in 2013, the HIV pandemic continues to pose serious problems for society. This includes Switzerland, whose AIDS prevalence of 0.4% is comparatively high – an even greater incentive to make this latest campaign a successful one.