An average of three people are diagnosed HIV positive in Belgium everyday, while the rate recorded in the 1980s was two people a day, the Scientific Institute for Public Health and the College of AIDS Reference Laboratories said on Tuesday.
Between 1997 and 2004, the number of HIV infections in Belgium rose by 43 percent, the institutes said. The increase occurred among both immigrant and native Belgian communities.
Figures also showed that 66 percent of HIV-positive men were infected after having gay or bi-sexual sex, while 87 percent of women were infected via heterosexual sex.
Since the start of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s and up until 2004, some 17,968 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Belgium. Among them, 1,763 people have died.