In 2012, there were 242 new diagnosed HIV cases in Norway, of which 166 (69%) were men and 76 were women. After a record high number of new HIV cases among men who have sex with men (MSM) in 2011, the number of HIV-positive people in this group declined in 2012. Among immigrants, the number of HIV-positive declined slightly compared to 2011. Among heterosexually-infected people living in Norway and drug users, the HIV figures are virtually unchanged compared to 2011.
In 2012, the number of reported cases of gonorrhoea increased, mainly due to increased incidence among men who have sex with men (MSM). The number of reported cases of syphilis decreased in 2012 among both MSM and heterosexuals. As with HIV infection, the incidence of gonorrhoea and syphilis is still very high among MSM, while among heterosexuals the incidence of these diseases is relatively low and stable.
World Health Organization urges increased vaccination:
The 8th European Immunization Week is being marked this year from 22nd-27th April. The aim is to promote the message that high vaccination coverage is essential to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Prevention of measles (MMR vaccine) is the focus of this year's action in Norway.
Figures for 2012 from the Norwegian Immunisation Registry show that children of all age groups are well protected against the diseases included in the Childhood Immunisation Programme. Compared to 2011, vaccination coverage is as high, and in some cases higher for all the vaccines given through the Programme.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has been notified by international partners that three cases of a new influenza A (H7N9) virus have been confirmed in China. The risk of spread to Norway is considered to be low. There is no change in travel advice for China.
The amount of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that mothers had in their blood during pregnancy was correlated with their sons' semen quality at 20 years old. These findings appear in a recent study from Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, in which the Norwegian Institute of Public Health participated.
The National Conference for Tuberculosis (TB) is being held in Oslo in advance of World TB Day. Global mortality from TB has been reduced by 40 per cent since 1990, but still too many people are dying, far too young, of this preventable disease.
Exposure to environmental contaminants during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of infections during the first three years of life and a reduced response to childhood vaccines. This is found in two studies from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has a new website, with an improved structure, navigation and search function.