RIGA-The spread of HIV through heterosexual contact has increasedsubstantially in Latvia in 2008, reported the Public Health Agency.
Last year 163 individuals, mostly women aged between 15 and 24 years,contracted HIV, which is about a half of all new HIV-infected cases registeredin 2008. Also, 22 persons were infected with HIV through homosexual contactslast year, 100 were infected as a result of intravenous drug use and eightchildren were born with HIV as their mothers were HIV-infected. In 65 cases,the source of the infection could not be established.
The Public Health Agency experts say that the latest trends in the HIVspread suggests failure to use the barrier methods of contraception. Younggirls whose partners are intravenous drug users are also put at a much higherrisk.
In 2008, 91 people in Latvia were diagnosed with AIDS, and 144 HIV-infectedpersons died, including 74 individuals, who had AIDS.
The incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in Latvia last yeardecreased by 15 percent on average, and a total of 1,519 STD cases wereregistered. Of all STD patients last year, 60 percent were males aged between18 and 29 years.