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 considered a pandemic.
In France, the number of deaths due to AIDS fell from 210 in 2010 to 139 in 2019. 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 55-64 age group. The highest rates of diagnoses were found in the region of Paris, the Île-de-France region. Although HIV is most often associated with sexual contact between men, heterosexual contact is the most prevalent transmission mode in France. Injectable drugs make up only 2 percent of infections.
Since over 31 percent of 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 prophylaxis (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, from which 97 percent of users are men.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "HIV/AIDS in France".