PARIS - France's health minister expressed concern Saturday
over a rise in the number of HIV cases, with new figures showing
7,000 people were infected last year in France with the virus
that causes AIDS.
"I am worried," said Health Minister Xavier Bertrand. "Worried
about the increasing transmission, worried about the decrease and
even the absence of preventative behavior."
According to France's Health Watch Institute, or INVS, some 7,000
people contracted the HIV virus in 2004, up from about 6,000 in
There are about 110,000 people living with HIV in France.
The rate of newly reported HIV cases was highest in people from
sub-Saharan Africa, which accounted for 32% of the total, INVS
said. Women represented two-thirds of the sub-Saharan cases and
the majority of the infections were transmitted by heterosexual
People of French nationality infected by heterosexual sex
represented 17% of the total, the same as the previous year, the
Homosexual men accounted for 24% of the overall cases in 2004.