New cases of HIV rise in Eastern Europe

01 December, 2018, 11:09 | Author: Cecil Davis
  • State medical and health authorities have started community based HIV testing based on the theme formulated by the United Nations

The highest rates of newly diagnosed HIV infections were observed in Russian Federation in 2017, the World Health Organization's European office and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said in a report published on Wednesday, TASS reports.

Since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, more than 77 million people worldwide have become infected with HIV and nearly half of them died of AIDS.

Their report estimated that one in five people with HIV in Europe were unaware of their status, with late detection increasing the risk of "ill health, death, and onward HIV transmission".

"If you look at the late diagnosis rates, which are still quite high, that tells us that there's still much more to be done", said Matthew Hodson, executive director of NAM, a British HIV/Aids information charity.

"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. This is the largest number of HIV diagnoses, which was ever pronounced in the Region.

The minister said that the government is committed to make honest efforts for increasing the access to and uptake of HIV preventive and treatment services by engaging with all stakeholders to promote HIV awareness and minimize stigma and discrimination against HIV.

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Although most HIV epidemics in the region are becoming more general in nature, key populations remain the most affected. "It is important for our public health services to support easy and affordable access to testing and medical care for vulnerable groups at risk of HIV infection".

"The increased rate of new diagnoses in the region since 2012 comes amid a global decline and Masoud Dara, HIV specialist at the World Health Organization, said it could be "an early indication of overspill in the general population".

Meanwhile, the report also found that new HIV diagnoses continued to decline, falling 17% from 5,280 in 2016 to 4,363 in 2017. Life expectancy can be near-normal if diagnosed early and treated promptly.

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 previous year.

People can not get an Aids diagnosis unless they are already HIV positive. 31 (41%) new HIV diagnoses were made at a late stage. There was also a reduction in diagnoses attributed to heterosexual transmissions involving people from countries with generalised HIV epidemics.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has set a so-called 90-90-90 target with the aim to eliminate Aids by 2030.

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