Poland: HIV infections on the rise for gay men due to ‘risky’ sexual behavior

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A study in Poland shows there were 992 new HIV infections reported in the country last year, and that two thirds of those who tested positive for the virus were in the gay community.

Poland’s National AIDS Centre said that some of the rise was down to improved HIV testing.

However, the report also said that attitudes towards the virus among Polish gay men were worrying and researchers pointed to the issue of those using drugs during sexual activity.

“In this population, we observe various disturbing phenomena that point to the underestimation of the risk of HIV infection, as well as the recognition that HIV/AIDS is a chronic disease that does not significantly alter the lifestyle”.

The report added: “In this group, especially a lot of people are indulging in very risky sexual behaviour, often under the influence of psychoactive substances”.

The National AIDS Centre’s Anna Marzec-Bogusławska told TVP: “There are some people who are unaware that they are living with the disease, of course.

“It is estimated that 35,000 people are carrying the virus. On average, three people a day test HIV positive in Poland,” she added.

In 2007, 807 new infections were reported in Poland, while in 2009 that number had risen to 957.