Epidemic: HIV Rates Keep Rising in Eastern Europe

State medical and health authorities have started community based HIV testing based on the theme formulated by the United Nations

State medical and health authorities have started community based HIV testing based on the theme formulated by the United Nations

The rate of new HIV infections reached a decade-long high in Europe a year ago, raising an "alarm bell" ahead of the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day on Saturday.

In comparison, Eastern Europe had 51.1 new diagnosed cases per 100,000 people, Western Europe had a rate of 6.4 new cases per 100,000.

During 2017, of the 84 new first-UK cases of HIV were diagnosed in Northern Ireland, 45 (54%) occurred through MSM transmission, while 26 (31%) occurred through heterosexual transmission.

EU and European Economic Area countries have seen new HIV infections drop, from 6.9 per 100,000 in 2016 to 5.8 per 100,000 a year ago.

European Union and European Economic Area countries saw a reduction in 2017 rates, mainly driven by a 20 percent drop since 2015 among men who have sex with men. Many countries fail to recognize that raising awareness among young people and offering them better access to early HIV testing are critical. An estimated 92% of the of 102,000 people living with HIV in Britain have been diagnosed, according to Public Health England (PHE).

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"The WHO European region is the only region where HIV infections are sharply rising", said Dr Masoud Dara, of WHO Europe. "Once diagnosed, individuals are less likely to pass on their infection due to treatment and changing their behaviour, so it is essential for both the person with HIV and anyone with whom they may have sex, that the condition is diagnosed early". Thirty-one (41%) new HIV diagnoses were made at a late stage.

In the rest of the former Soviet Union, new cases of infected drug users have fallen 45 percent to 6,218 a year in a decade, while new cases of heterosexual transmission increased 59 percent to nearly 18,000. This is the largest number of HIV diagnoses, which was ever pronounced in the Region. Positive not only that the increase in case numbers in 2017 was as strong as in the previous year, according to the Report.

The Chamber of the capital will launch on Wednesday the campaign "stop HIV is in our hands", with the aim of "increasing the knowledge of the population" regarding the prevention and transmission of the AIDS virus.

The number of AIDS cases continued to decline in the Region as a whole.

In a report published on 29 November 2018, PHE said the UK had met all of the targets set by the UN to promote HIV prevention, adding that the UK should "identify new priorities that, if achieved, could accelerate the falls in HIV transmission that are well underway". 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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