HIV infection rate in the general public in Cyprus is low, Minister of Health Konstantinos Ioannou has said.

In his address at a press conference on Friday on the occassion of the World  AIDS Day, the Minister said that in 2015 and 2016, 80 new incidents were recorded annually, while in 2017 the number increased by five.

He pointed out that in the last two years there has been a gradual reduction in new diagnoses which may be due to the development and implementation of targeted actions. These actions, he added, are based on the recommendations of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the use of antiretroviral therapy as a treatment and prevention of HIV infection.

The Minister said that health care of HIV patients is provided free of charge and that between 2016-2017 the state spent more than 7.5 million euro for antiretroviral therapy alone.

Moreover, he said that  the Ministry of Health implements an Incentive Scheme on the basis of which monthly allowance is granted to those patients who comply with systematic clinical and laboratory monitoring and medication,

The Minister`s address was read out by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Christina Yiannaki.

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