Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Eastern Europe: number of HIV diagnoses reached a peak

Eastern Europe: number of HIV diagnoses reached a peak

Since the beginning of the Aids epidemic in the eighties have been infected worldwide, more than 77 million people living with HIV.

The report, which CNN reported Tuesday, reveals that in 2017, of the almost 160,000 people diagnosed with HIV in Europe, 130,000 of those were in Eastern Europe - the highest ever in the latter region.

More than 51 people per 100,000 contracted the disease - a rate that was "disproportionately higher" than in the West, which saw 6.4 new cases per 100,000 people.

"With an estimated 8,000 people still unaware of their infection it is vital that people seek out an HIV test if they consider themselves at risk, or accept the offer of an HIV test by a healthcare professional, as early diagnosis is key to stopping transmission".

"We live in a context necessarily different from the imaginary of many people, since the treatments are very effective today". "Our efforts must continue apace in order to eliminate HIV".

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.

The increase in new HIV diagnoses continued for the WHO European Region as a whole, but its pace was slower than in previous years.

Dr Claire Neill, Specialist Registrar with the PHA, said: "Many people living with HIV have no obvious signs or symptoms, so the only way of knowing if you have the virus is by taking a HIV test". For this reason, all the people should with a possible risk of infection regularly get tested for HIV, even if you feel healthy. "To support people living with HIV and protect those at higher risk of infection, we need to fast track action by tailoring interventions".

"It is hard to speak of good news, if one looks to another year with unacceptable high probability of paying back", says Zsuzsanna Jakap, Director of the WHO Regional Office Europe.

HIV diagnoses are falling in the European Union and European Economic Area, thanks to more widespread testing, fast treatment and the roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis.

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

Russian Federation experiences the highest rates, with 71 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 people in 2017. Thirty-one (41%) new HIV diagnoses were made at a late stage.

The overall decline in the EU/EEA resulted primarily from a 20% drop in new diagnoses among men who have sex with men between 2015 and 2017, which remains the predominant mode of HIV transmission (38% in 2017) in this part of Europe.

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 figures make the United Kingdom one of the first countries to reach the UN's 90-90-90 targets, which urge countries to achieve a 90% success rate in the diagnosis, treatment and viral suppression of HIV, the health body says.

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