Eastern Europe: number of HIV diagnoses reached a peak


The report was released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Noting that one in four people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) do not know that they have the virus, impeding them from making informed decisions on prevention, treatment and other care and support services, the United Nations chief said that "there is still time to scale up testing for HIV, to enable more people to access treatment, to increase resources needed to prevent new infections, and to end the stigma".

In the East, there are 51.1 new HIV cases in 100,000 people, which is far more than the 6.4 new diagnoses for the same number of people in the West. While unprotected male homosexual sexual intercourses remain the main cause of transmission in European Union and European Economic Area, intravenous drug use and heterosexual sex was the main mode of HIV transmission in Eastern Europe, the report stated.

Rates were excessive in Russian Federation where 71 contemporary cases were detected per 100,000 people in 2017 succeeded by Ukraine and Belarus. The HIV surveillance in Northern Ireland 2018 study shows that 84 of these cases were diagnosed in 2017. Over the last 30 years there have been over 2.32 million HIV diagnoses in Europe and according to WHO 36.9 million people are living with HIV across the world in 2017. Because of this, the area is not equipped to meet the 90-90-90 goal by 2020, as scheduled by World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.

"State-sponsored homophobia and transphobia (have become) a crucial issue", said Yuri Yoursky of the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health, which supports men with HIV/AIDS in the region.

"Treatment has proven to be a prevention", he explained, and it helps suppress the virus, preventing people from infecting others. The report calls the rates in Eastern Europe "disproportionately higher".

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"The series of awareness sessions held at community level through public outreach campaigns, educational institutes, policy making institutions and healthcare settings/hospitals to share important information and statistics related to the HIV epidemic in the country, free of cost HIV testing and treatment services being provided by the Government of Pakistan, to reduce stigma and discrimination and address misconceptions associated with HIV awareness is commendable".

In Canada, it remains a criminal offence not to disclose one's HIV-positive status in consensual sex if a condom is not used.

The global theme of World AIDS Day is "Know Your Status".

State medical and health authorities have sent a communication to medical officers working in primary health centres and community health centres to organise a series of programmes such as rallies, cultural activities, special camps for testing and counselling, provide access to treatment and ensure adherence to scheduled treatment of HIV/AIDS patients and even felicitate health staff doing good service to patients.

The number of Russian men who were infected with HIV through having sex with another man more than doubled to 695 between 2008 and 2015, according to official data.