New HIV Cases Increase for First Time in 6 Years ({{commentsTotal}})

The number of new HIV cases registered in Estonia has increased slightly this year, ending a six year run of decline.

As of December 27, 324 new cases had been registered since the beginning of the year, bringing the total official number of infected people to 8,701, of whom 413 have been diagnosed with AIDS. Last year, 315 new HIV cases were registered, which was the lowest figure since 2000.

Experts say, however, that the official figures don't tell the whole story and estimate that a third of infections remain unrecorded.

Infections were mainly concentrated in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County, although the capital received the bulk of this year's increase, with most other areas recording fewer new cases than last year.

Tallinn had 185 new cases (148 last year), while Ida-Viru County registered 122 new cases (131 last year). Tartu County was third, but with just eight newly recorded cases, four fewer than last year.