HIV Diagnosis At Its Peak In Eastern Europe

Simon Moss
December 1, 2018

More than 130,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV a year ago in Eastern Europe, the highest rate ever for the region, while the number of new cases in Western Europe declined, global public health experts said on Wednesday. The 19,000 new HIV infections among people aged 15-24 in 2017 was only about 9 per cent smaller than the 2010 figure, as opposed to other regions where reductions up to 25 per cent have been observed.

The number of people newly diagnosed with the infection fell by 17%, from 5,280 in 2016 to 4,363 in 2017. Man-to-man sex, meanwhile, is the main cause in the European Economic Area and the European Union. Many countries fail to recognize that raising awareness among young people and offering them better access to early HIV testing are critical.

'My call to governments, ministers of health and decision-makers is bold: scale up your response now, ' Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Europe director, said.

"We need to unite to avert a full-blown HIV epidemic by taking immediate preventive measures, encourage HIV testing and treatment, and addressing HIV associated stigma and discrimination to reduce the number of new HIV infections".

People can not get an Aids diagnosis unless they are already HIV positive.

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Of new HIV diagnoses in the eastern part of the Region, 59% are reported to be from heterosexual transmission.

The latest figures from PHE show that in 2017, 92% of people living with HIV in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed, 98% of those diagnosed were on treatment, and 97% of those on treatment were virally suppressed. This translates into a decline from a rate of 6.9 per 100 000 population in 2008, to 6.2 per 100 000 in 2017. The full extent and consequences of the lack of effective, quality HIV prevention and treatment services for adolescents are unknown because many countries do not publish HIV estimates. Positive not only that the increase in case numbers in 2017 was as strong as in the previous year, according to the Report.

The momentum to revamp political commitment to end AIDS by 2030 has never been so strong in the European Region.

Consequently, the report emphasizes that new infections would have to decline by 78 percent by 2020 in order to meet specific World Health Organization and Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS objectives.

"The increasing trend in new HIV diagnoses continued for the Region overall, despite decreasing rates of new diagnoses in the EU/EEA", the executive summary posted on the ECPCD website reads. The Common Position, coordinated by World Health Organization, is an unprecedented step by the United Nations to scale up efforts by 2030, as demanded by SDG 3.

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