World Aids Day has been marked for 35 years every December 1, and is dedicated to raising awareness about the human immunodficiency virus infection. On 1 December WHO joins partners to mark World AIDS Day 2023, under the theme “Let communities lead”.
On this day, health professionals from the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, University Clinical Center Tuzla together with the association “Partnership for Health” and the Association of Medical Students of Bosnia and Herzegovina organized a series of public events aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of prevention.
This year’s awareness-raising activities included free counseling services, HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, blood pressure and blood sugar testing for the citizens of Tuzla in shopping mall Tuzlanka.
Dr. Denis Žepić, specialist in infectious diseases said that the citizens responded to campaign very good, and testing for HIV and hepatitis, is recommended for all persons who, due to the type of occupation, are in a risk category, such as health workers, police officers and firefighters, as well as promiscuous persons and intravenous drug addicts.
“Since 1994, when testing for HIV infection has been carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a total of 337 HIV- positive persons have been registered, of which 57 persons have died. In 2023, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we registered 28 cases, of which 20 with HIV infection and 8 with AIDS. In the Republika Srpska entity, 10 HIV-positive and 6 AIDS patients were registered in the same period. This year, six people with HIV infection were registered in the area of Tuzla Canton. There are a total of 287 people on drug therapy in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, pointed out Dr. Žepić.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection leads to progressive immunologic deterioration in person, which makes them susceptible to the development of opportunistic infections. The end stage is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
The first case of HIV infection in Bosnia and Herzegovina was recorded in 1986, and to date, the presence of the virus in the body has been confirmed in almost 500 people, of whom between 160 and 170 developed AIDS, and 65 lost their lives.
The Counseling Centre for voluntary, confidential and free testing for HIV and Hepatitis C virus of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases is offering anonymous HIV/AIDS and hepatitis testing and any kind of help for patients free of charge through the year.
According to the data of the Counseling Center, two to three new cases of infection are discovered annually.
Medication used for the treatment and care are for the patients completely free of charge. The costs of medical treatments are funded through the Cantonal Health Insurance.