According to a study from Paraguay's General Directorate of Health Surveillance released Thursday, the South American country recorded a sharp increase in the number of cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it was reported in Asunción.
The research found 1,519 new HIV diagnoses in 2022, mostly among men, of which 495 were labeled as AIDS.
The highest rate of new cases is in Asunción (57.21%), followed by the departments of Amambay (northern region), Misiones (south), Central, and Concepción (north).
From 2018 to 2019, the percentage of new diagnoses rose from 1,564 to 1,605 (2.62%). After that, a 25% decrease was registered in 2020. But from 2021 to 2022 there was an increase in new HIV diagnoses of 26.48% compared to the 2020 period.
A high percentage of the new diagnoses registered in the country were detected in the general population (58.66%), also in men who have sex with men (32.19%), and in pregnant women (6.91%).
On the other hand, there was a lower proportion of new diagnoses in persons deprived of liberty (0.20%), in female sex workers (0.20%), in drug users (0.33%), and in the transgender population (0.99%).
The report also stated that 52.73% of those newly diagnosed with HIV were in the 20-34 age group, while 0.72% were under 5 years of age.
In terms of mortality, in 2022, 112 people died with HIV, of whom 87 were men and 25 were women.
From the beginning of the epidemic in Paraguay in 1985 to 2022, a total of 26,569 people have been diagnosed with HIV, of whom 9,413 have died. Currently, 17,156 people are living with HIV in the country, according to the report.