HIV situation in Norway in 2013

In 2013, there were 233 newly diagnosed HIV cases in Norway, compared to 242 in 2012. The decline is mainly seen among heterosexuals. Among men who have sex with men (MSM), the HIV figures remain high. Increased HIV testing, condom use and more HIV-infected people on treatment are the most important preventive measures.

Of the 233 new HIV infection cases, 158 (68 per cent) were men and 75 were women. In total there are now 5,371 people diagnosed with HIV in Norway, 3,618 men and 1,753 women.

The 2013 figures show a further decline in the total annual number of diagnosed HIV cases notified anonymously by doctors to the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS). Compared with the 2008 peak, there were 22 per cent fewer new reported HIV cases in Norway.

The decline among heterosexuals is seen both in those infected while living in Norway and immigrants who were infected before arrival. Following a decline in 2012, the number of diagnosed cases among MSM is again at the same level as in 2011. The incidence of HIV among drug users in Norway remains at a low level.

The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases among MSM in 2013 remains high compared to 2002 when 30 cases were reported. In recent years, high figures in this group have resulted in an increased number of MSM living with HIV and therefore a high infection pressure. This is reinforced by the fact that many newly infected people with high infectivity are unaware of their HIV status. Early diagnosis is a priority in preventive work. Effective treatment greatly decreases the infectivity of HIV positives. The importance of increased testing activity in this group is also confirmed by a significant number of MSM first becoming aware of their HIV status after they become severely ill due to immune deficiency.

The proportion of HIV-positive MSM with an immigrant background has increased in recent years, and this trend intensified in 2013 where nearly half of the diagnosed MSM have an immigrant background. Almost 50 per cent of these come from other European countries.

Provided by Norwegian Institute of Public Health
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