An increase in the incidence of HIV, which can lead to Aids, was the result of gay relationships and not shared syringes by drug users, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Chris Fearne, said in Parliament this evening.

He said a similar increase was being seen in several other countries.

A task force of professionals is drawing up policies and preparing an information campaign to tackle the trend and educate the people on precautions to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

He said there was no increase as a result of shared syringes had been seen, and the Health Department was continuing to provide free syringes to those who needed them.

Mr Fearne was replying to questions by Franco Mercieca and Anthony Agius Decelis (PL).

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