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Miguel Ribeiro Fernandes
HIV In Portugal
They were all caught by surprise. They never expected such a diagnosis, being the carriers of the HIV virus. Almost all thought being infected was impossible. In their minds they never had risk behavior. In general they have an idea that the responsibility of the infection isn’t theirs, but from the “other”. The “other” is a husband, boyfriend, a father, a mother and even doctors, responsible for blood transfusions. There are few that recognize the risk . But the big responsibility for such a high rate of HIV infections in Portugal is the lack of prevention campaigns. This would enter the world of the “other”, the common person, not only the usual group risk: drug addicts, gays and prostitutes. In fact it’s proved today that such HIV stereotypes do not exist. We can only talk about risk behavior, not groups.
Portugal is the country with more infections per million (205) in the west of Europe, according to the latest studies of EuroHiv.
The “other” can be you and me.