63.8% of AIDS cases diagnosed between 1980 and 2003 were sexually transmitted. And since the decade of the ’90’s, most cases have occurred among heterosexuals.
In 2003, sexual relations with women were the cause of 39.6% of the cases of AIDS infection among men 13 years of age or older, compared with 16.2% of the cases among members of this group in 1992.
These data are part of the 17th edition of the AIDS Epidemiological Bulletin issued by the Ministry of Health’s National Program on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS (STD/AIDS).
The document covers the cases diagnosed throughout the country through December, 2003.
While the epidemic is spreading among heterosexuals, AIDS transmission among homosexuals has dropped sharply.
In 1992, same sex relations were responsible for 25.2% of the cases diagnosed. In 2003, this index was down to 15.9%.
The epidemiological bulletin also shows that there are flaws in the investigation of new AIDS cases. In the last five years, the percentage of cases in which the cause of contamination is unknown exceeds 20%.
Infection as a result of heterosexual relations also represents the chief cause of contamination among women 13 years of age or older.
While this form of transmission characterizes 57.8% of the cases diagnosed among men, heterosexual relations are responsible for 86.9% of the cases among women.
According to the epidemiological bulletin, heterosexual transmission has grown as the cause of contamination among women in this age group from 70.7% in 1992 to 93.5% in 2003.
In 2002, 22,295 cases of AIDS were diagnosed in Brazil, down 13.5% from the number of cases in 2001.
Among men, the most vulnerable age group is formed by the 25-49 bracket, which includes 79% of the cases of the disease among men.
For women, the largest number of cases is concentrated in the 20-49 bracket, which includes 83.4% of the AIDS cases among women.