A Polish NGO on Friday hit out on the authorities for proscribing intercourse schooling because the devoutly Catholic nation grapples with a spike in HIV instances.
This yr, Poland’s Institute of Public Well being (NIZP) had recorded almost 2,600 new instances by mid-November.
That marks a substantial uptick from the 2010s, when the variety of new instances every year ranged from round 1,000 to 1,600.
“We have had markedly much less sex education over the previous eight years. The government was pro-Catholic and pushed education in that route,” Magdalena Ankiersztejn-Bartczak, who runs the Basis for Social Training NGO, instructed AFP on Friday, which coincided with World Aids Day.
Intercourse schooling is just not a obligatory a part of college curricula in Poland and tends to be lined solely briefly.
The topic has lengthy been uncared for and even slammed by the governing conservatives who got here to energy in 2015.
“NGOs providing youth intercourse schooling have been progressively pushed out of faculties,” Ankiersztejn-Bartczak instructed AFP earlier this week.
She confused how essential intercourse schooling is in combating HIV, which is principally transmitted by way of sexual contact.
Although “we have identified concerning the technique of transmission for 40 years, we’re seeing an increase in new instances in Poland whereas there is a drop in Western Europe,” she stated.
The precise figures might be a lot greater, as many instances go unnoticed and unreported.
The Nationwide AIDS Centre estimates that solely 10 % of Polish adults have been examined and that a minimum of 30 % of these which might be HIV-positive are unaware of their an infection.
“Eighty-seven % of Poles imagine the virus does not concern them,” stated Ankiersztejn-Bartczak.
She estimated that greater than half of the nation’s instances are recognized late, notably due to failures in prevention.
The Nationwide AIDS Centre says, nevertheless, that the rise in new instances is partly a results of taking part in catch-up after the pandemic.
“Many instances from 2021-2022 have been solely recorded this yr as a result of health centers have been overwhelmed throughout COVID,” the Centre’s Maryla Rogalewicz stated not too long ago.
She additionally stated the statistics have been impacted by the arrival of a whole bunch of 1000’s of refugees from Ukraine—the place HIV is a large downside—following Russia’s invasion final yr.
© 2023 AFP
Polish NGO decries lack of intercourse schooling as HIV instances soar (2023, December 1)
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