World AIDS Day on December 1st is an opportunity to draw attention to the situation of HIV-positive people and AIDS patients. In Saxony-Anhalt, an expert sees deficits in medical care.

Magdeburg (dpa/sa) – In Saxony-Anhalt, doctors who specialize in HIV are missing from the point of view of the AIDS service. There are currently three specialists in Magdeburg and Halle for around 1,000 patients, said the state manager of the Saxony-Anhalt AIDS organization, Sven Warminsky, of the German Press Agency in Magdeburg. In addition, the two university clinics in Halle and Magdeburg also offer treatments.

“But not everyone who has a problem-free HIV infection wants to go to the university clinic. Of course, most of them want to see a doctor in private practice,” explained Warminsky. This can mean a long way for the vital therapy. “The greatest discrimination experience HIV positive in the medical field,” said Warminsky.

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), an estimated 60 people in Saxony-Anhalt were last infected with the HI virus in 2021. The number of new infections thus remains at the previous year’s level. The RKI assumed around 55 new infections in 2020.

In order to improve patient care, Warminsky believes it would make sense to offer medical treatment as well as testing at the Checkpoint counseling center in Halle operated by the Aids-Hilfe Sachsen-Anhalt Süd. Only tests are currently possible there. In Magdeburg, on the other hand, there has been such a checkpoint since last year. Patients can be tested there and treated immediately if the result is positive. There are three of these facilities across Germany, said Warminsky.

Also in view of the general shortage of doctors in the federal state, it is difficult for the advice center to find a suitable specialist. The Magdeburg checkpoint, for example, had been looking for more than two years.

Fewer people got tested for HIV and other STDs in the 2020 and 2021 pandemic years, Warminsky said. This year, too, the tests in the health authorities are still only possible by appointment. He therefore assumes that fewer tests will be carried out than in the pre-pandemic period. However, the advice centers of the Aids-Hilfe would have experienced more inflow again. However, he cannot say whether tests will be carried out there again as often as before the start of the corona pandemic.