Russia, Ukraine, Belarus have highest rates of newly diagnosed HIV in Europe

Brittany Mendoza
December 1, 2018

Around 39 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 2017, according to UNAIDS, the United Nations program that sets global targets.

Almost 160,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in Europe in 2017, the World Health Organization's Regional Office for Europe said in a news release Wednesday, calling the latest figures "alarming".

"Rates of newly diagnosed HIV infections for 2017 varied significantly among countries in the WHO European Region, with the highest rates per 100 000 population observed in the Russian Federation (71.1), Ukraine (37), Belarus (26.1) and the Republic of Moldova (20.6), and the lowest in Bosnia and Herzegovina (0.3), Slovakia (1.3) and Slovenia (1.9)", the report reads.

Last year, Europe's human immunodeficiency virus cases increased, albeit at a slower pace than the previous years.

"We all need to realize our responsibilities and the critical role we all have to play to make Pakistan HIV free", the minister said while addressing a Seminar in connection with World AIDS Day.

The 53 countries in WHO's European region have a combined population of almost 900 million.

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"Despite our efforts, HIV still damages the lives of so many people, and causes not only much suffering and illness, but also discrimination and stigmatization", said Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. It is important not to delay if you have put yourself at risk.

"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.

"It's hard to talk about good news in the face of another year of unacceptably high numbers of people infected with HIV". Globally, about 75% of people living with HIV/AIDs were diagnosed, the group says.

Among the types of data the CDC collects: the number and population rates of HIV diagnoses, the number of people living with HIV and the number of people receiving HIV medical care. 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the lack of effective, quality HIV prevention and treatment services for adolescents are unknown because many countries do not publish HIV estimates. Many countries fail to recognize that raising awareness among young people and offering them better access to early HIV testing are critical. Although infections tend to occur as a result of behaviours initiated during adolescence, the HIV diagnosis tends to be established at a later stage. Injecting drugs and heterosexual intercourse are the most common reasons for the transmission of the disease in this region.

"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.

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