World AIDS Day 2014
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, ECDC launched the latest surveillance data on HIV in the European Region. 2014 theme: 10 years of data show that Europe is not curbing the epidemic
The report, prepared jointly with the WHO Regional Office for Europe, presented data on HIV and AIDS for the whole European Region, covering a population of nearly 900 million people, of which around 508 million live in the EU/EEA.
The day was also an opportunity to disseminate information about the status of the HIV pandemic and to organise activities.
2014 theme: 10 years of data show that Europe is not curbing the epidemic
HIV remains a significant public health problem in the EU/EEA. In 2013, 29 157 new infections were diagnosed in 30 EU/EEA countries. The rate of HIV per 100 000 population has not declined.
Infections in men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to rise. Reported cases among MSM increased by 33% when compared to 2004; they are now the only key population in EU/EEA countries that has not seen a decline in new infections. Between 2004 and 2013 new cases among 20-24 year olds nearly doubled. This is of particular concern, as they have likely been infected more recently, suggesting that current prevention efforts may not be having the necessary impact to reduce transmission.
Low rates of testing and high rates of late diagnosis undermine the effectiveness of the HIV response in the EU. Late diagnosis is associated with nearly ten-fold higher mortality in the year following diagnosis, higher morbidity and health care costs, and increased duration of possible HIV transmission prior to being diagnosed and treated. Improving uptake of testing and encouraging earlier testing are vital to reduce the proportion of people with HIV who are diagnosed late.
In the last decade, Europe’s response to HIV did not have a real impact as the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections has not gone down;
Sex between men is still the predominant mode of HIV transmission. MSM account for 42% of HIV infections in 2013, a 33% increase when compared to 2004, and are the only key population not to see a decline in new infections;
To successfully curb the HIV epidemic in Europe, response needs to be strengthened and tailored to each country’s specific needs.
Gaps and achievements since Dublin Declaration
In 2004, European and Central Asian countries held the high-level conference ‘Breaking the Barriers – Partnership to fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia’. The conference agreed the Dublin Declaration, which aimed to galvanise political action to tackle the epidemic in the region. ECDC has been monitoring the progress in implementing this declaration and has published reports presenting the main findings, discussing key issues and providing a summary of issues for future action. Marking ten years after the Dublin Declaration, the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted a ministerial conference in Rome in November 2014 to reflect on achievements made since the adoption of the Declaration.