HIV/STI prevention among the general population (axis 1)

HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are most frequently spread through unprotected sex. Axis 1 of the NPHS is aimed at the entire population of Switzerland. Its goal is to minimise the transmission of HIV and other STIs and ensure that, should an infection occur, this is identified and treated as swiftly as possible.

Facts about HIV and other STI

In Switzerland, the prevalence of HIV is relatively low and stable: some 0.2% of the population of Switzerland have an HIV
infection. And thanks to effective treatments, the number of persons who can transmit HIV is on the decline.
Syphilis is also relatively uncommon, and the numbers of new cases have begun to stabilise in recent years.
Cases of gonorrhoea and chlamydia have been increasing since the 2000s. The steeper rises here, since the NHPS began, are primarily the consequence of intensified testing.

Lowering transmissions of HIV and other STIs

The aim of Axis 1 is to combat the spread of HIV and other STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia, and to identify and treat any cases thereof as swiftly as possible. To these ends, all sexually active persons living in Switzerland should be informed about HIV and other STIs. This means, among other things, being aware of the risks to them personally, knowing how to protect themselves against infection and knowing what to do if they do become infected. 

If people are to look after their own health and well-being, they must have access to competent advice and appropriate
contraceptives, and they must also know their rights. To these ends, the NPHS defines the following requirements and actions:

  • access to sexuality education
  • access to contraceptives such as condoms and vaccinations
  • access to appropriate information
  • access to counselling
  • the information and awareness of people who pay for sex.

Further information

Counselling and testing centres for HIV and other STI's

Do the risk assessment and find the right counselling and testing centre for you.

Sexuality education

Educated children and youth protect themselves better against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. They develop healthier lifestyles too. The federal government is therefore supporting nationwide sexuality education in the cantons.

Communicable Diseases Legislation – Epidemics Act, (EpidA)

The Epidemics Act aims to ensure that communicable diseases are detected, monitored, prevented and controlled at an early stage and helps to better manage disease outbreaks with a high risk potential.

Last modification 29.03.2023

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Division of Communicable Diseases
Prevention and Promotion Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Bern
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