Number of new cases is on the decline

The Balearics is still the region with the highest number of Aids cases per capita, although last year the number of cases did fall, the region's Health Minister Aina Salom said yesterday. Salom, announcing the events being organised to mark World Aids Day on December 1, said that last year, 51 new patients infected with the HIV virus were registered in the Balearics and that since 1981, 1.847 HIV patients have been treated in the region, sadly 54 per cent have died. Salom said that the Ministry is collaborating with a host of non-governmental organisation to host a large number of events across the island. The highlight event is a concert in the Galatzo sports centre in Calvia to raise funds for the fight against Aids. Salom paid tribute to the important role the Ministry for Education has played in helping to increase awareness to the dangers of Aids in the region's schools and colleges while the Women's Institute is running specialist training courses for professionals on how to reduce the risks to women. The Medicos del Mundo campaign is also a vital weapon in the fight in Majorca, caring for prostitutes and drug addicts by providing contraception and clean hyperdermic needles in exchange for old ones. The organisation also launched a new “Combat Aids, preserve life” campaign aimed at young people last month.

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