The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Turkey in 2016 reached 1,734, 84.3 percent of whom were males and 15.7 percent females, according to the Health Ministry which released the figures yesterday.
In a statement issued on the eve of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the ministry said there were 1,661 HIV and 73 AIDS cases detected out of the total, 16.5 percent of whom were of foreign nationals.
The number of HIV/AIDS cases is increasing in several parts of the world, including Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia.
HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, intravenous drug use and the common use of injectors, infected blood transfusions, from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding after childbirth, the statement added.
Emphasizing that HIV/AIDS cases must be declared in line with the notification system of infectious diseases, the statement said the coded notification system has been used since 1994 to prevent discrimination and stigmatization of HIV positive individuals.
The statement also noted that out of the total cases detected, 49.7 percent cases were sexually transmitted. "Two thirds of the sexually-transmitted cases of the infection result from heterosexual sexual intercourse, and 1.6 percent of the cases result from intravenous drug use, while the transmission of 46.5 percent cases remains unclear."
The report reveals that more than 18 million people with HIV are currently taking ART, and a similar number is still unable to access treatment, the majority of which are unaware of their HIV positive status.