HIV/AIDS in France - Statistics & Facts

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is a retrovirus that infects humans and causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which is a weakened state of the immune system, making it vulnerable to multiple opportunistic infections. Transmitted through several body fluids (blood, vaginal secretions, semen or breast milk), AIDS is now considered a pandemic that, according to UNAIDS, has caused the death of approximately 32 million people between 1981, when the first cases were identified, and 2018.

In France, the number of deaths due to AIDS has dropped from 900 in 2000 to 500 in 2017. The number of new HIV infections was under 5,000 for the first time in 2018. In terms of gender comparison, men are more affected by the virus than women, and it is most common among the 35-54 age group. Furthermore, the Paris region of Île-de-France is disproportionately hit by the disease. Although HIV is most often associated with sexual contact between men, heterosexual contact is the most prevalent transmission mode. Injectable drugs make up for only 2 percent of infections.

Since almost 20 percent of young French people never use a condom during sexual intercourse, education and prevention remain of the utmost importance to curb the spread of the pandemic. Screening and early detection are almost equally crucial in the fight against AIDS. In 2019, more than 27,000 self-test kits were sold in Île-de-France alone. Pre-exposure prophilaxis (PrEP) was made available in France and reimbursed by social security for people at higher risk of contracting the virus in 2016. Since then, the number of people using the antiretroviral drug Truvada or one of its generics has risen to more than 15,000 during the first half of 2019. 97 percent of users are men.

HIV/AIDS led to a total cost of 1.6 billion euros in 2016, of which 48 million were made up of government spending on research. In 2017, French social security declared a total expenditure of 1.48 billion euros. The vast majority of expenses are dedicated to ambulatory care and nearly all of the money is invested in drugs and medicine .

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HIV/AIDS in France

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