The Ministry of Health of Chile has begun the search of some 30,000 potential HIV carriers who ignore their condition, in order to identify them, offer treatment, improve their life expectancy and contain the spread of the virus, said the authorities of the sector today.
The search will focus on places of high convergence of young people, such as universities, companies, prisons and even the busiest beaches during the summer, to apply to those who accept rapid detection tests, said the authorities.
"We have at least 50% of the population with HIV that does not know that they live with the virus, a number of not less than 30,000, and we have to go out and look for them, our job today is to see where they are," admitted the minister. Health, Emilio Santelices, to the Health Commission of the Chamber of Deputies.
According to figures from Onusida, in Chile there are some 70,000 people infected with the HIV virus, of which 40,000 are in treatment, while the projections point to an increase of those affected to 100,000 by the end of this year.
The above, on the basis that infections have increased 96% between 2010 and 2017, from 2,968 to 5,816 new cases, while the mortality rate has increased from 2.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2014 to 3 , 1 cases per 100,000 in 2016.
"We want to shake up young people more about the risk they are in. We need to arrive by other means, for example, during the summer, to set up mobile stands on beaches and centers where there is a large number of young people and to do something as simple as they easily access the test, "said Minister Santelices.
The Ministry of Health purchased 260,000 rapid test equipment, which allows diagnosis in 15 minutes, and has launched the purchase of another 800,000 equipment, according to the authorities.
In addition, it has entered into partnerships with universities and public institutions for the promotion of sexual health, prevention and control of HIV / AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
One of these agreements was signed with the Consortium of State Universities of Chile (Cuech), to implement in 18 state universities the promotion of the use of male and female condoms.
Also to carry out early detection of the virus through rapid tests, as well as promotion and prevention actions, aimed at students.
There are also coordinations with the Ministry of Agriculture to reach temporary workers in the field with the same policies and health authorities talk with the Ministries of Education, Defense, Women and Gendarmerie (Prison Service) to broaden participation in a National Plan for the Prevention and Control of HIV / AIDS / STIs, launched last May.