GENEVA — The number of AIDS victims among intravenous drug users has risen sharply in Europe, reaching nearly 10% of more than 2,500 cases reported in 22 countries by the end of March, the World Health Organization reported Friday.
Drug addicts were the biggest group of people suffering from the killer disease in Italy and Spain, WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Record reported. Most acquired immune deficiency syndrome victims elsewhere were homosexual men. More than half of all sufferers have died, it said.
Cases reported in Europe increased by 163% in the 12 months since March last year. France recorded most cases, 707, followed by West Germany with 459, Britain 340, Italy 219, Belgium 160, Spain 145, Netherlands 120, and Switzerland 113. West Germany, France and Italy had most new cases, averaging six to 11 weekly, the WHO said.
A total of 26 countries are now reporting regularly on AIDS in the European region, including six Communist states.