World AIDS Day – Experts criticize late diagnoses in Europe

Before World AIDS Day, the leading health care institutions in Europe have called for an improved testing strategy. The number of people living with undiagnosed HIV in Europe increases, said the European Office of the World Health Organization and the EU. Health Authority ECDC Thursday. More than half of these infections are diagnosed only at a late stage, when the immune system has already started to fail.

This is a sign that the testing strategies for early detection of HIV in the European area are not working properly. According to the annual report published by WHO Europe and ECDC on Thursday on the situation of HIV and AIDS in Europe, almost 136,500 people on the continent were diagnosed with HIV in 2019. Approximately four fifths of the new infections occurred in the eastern part of the European area, but less than one in five in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the EU. AIDS was diagnosed in around 12,500 people in 2019.

The number of people newly diagnosed with HIV has increased by 19% in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region over the last ten years, but this number has decreased by 9% in the corresponding EU Member States. And EEA countries. Many EU countries / EEA countries, including Austria, have reported a decline in the rates of new diagnoses. 225 new cases were reported in Austria in the previous year, compared to 363 in 2010. In contrast, HIV diagnoses in Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia have more than doubled in the last ten years, and in Bulgaria and Poland they increased according to the report as 50 percent.

“Despite the current focus on Covid-19, we must not lose sight of other public health issues such as HIV,” said ECDC Director Andrea Ammon. An earlier diagnosis of HIV is of the utmost importance.

WHO Europe counts a total of 53 countries in the European area, including large parts to the east of the EU, for example Russia and Ukraine. A total of almost 900 million people live in the region, almost 508 million of them in the European Economic Area, which, in addition to the 27 EU member states. Countries, also including ex-EU. Member Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

World AIDS Day was launched by those in 1988. It is celebrated annually on December 1 to raise awareness of AIDS, a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Source: WHO / DPA

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