World AIDS Day: HIV transmission shows no sign of declining in EuropeArchived
Marking World AIDS Day 2011, ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe release today their joint publication HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe 2010. The new data raises concern about the continuing transmission of HIV in Europe, as newly diagnosed HIV infections are still on the increase.
In 2010, 27.116 newly diagnosed HIV infections were reported across the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA) indicating an increase of around 4%. In contrast, the steady decrease of AIDS cases continued in 2010 with 4.666 reported cases in the EU/EEA region. This constitutes a decrease of nearly 50% in reported AIDS cases from 2004 to 2010.
The HIV epidemics are remarkably distinct in individual countries but overall HIV continues to disproportionally affect certain key populations, in particular men who have sex with men, persons originating from countries with generalised HIV epidemics and people who inject drugs.
ECDC has published a Guidance on HIV testing and the joint ECDC–EMCDDA Prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs. These evidence-based guidance reports aim to assist in shaping effective national HIV/AIDS policies as both people who inject drugs as well as HIV positive persons who are unaware of their infection are main populations at risk for transmission of HIV.
Scientific meeting focuses on HIV and hepatitis prevention among people who inject drugs
On the eve of World AIDS Day 2011, ECDC and EMCDDA are organising a scientific seminar in the European Parliament with the aim to increase awareness of the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic and the burden of HIV-related infections in EU countries.
The focus of this year’s seminar will be HIV and hepatitis prevention among people who inject drugs. The ECDC and the EMCDDA will present their recent joint guidance Prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs. Representatives of hepatitis B and C patients’ associations have also been invited to join the discussion.
Speaking at the seminar in Brussels, ECDC Director Marc Sprenger stressed: “We need to demonstrate the political courage to focus on key populations most affected by HIV and to address the issue of late diagnosis of HIV infection which often leads to delayed treatment and higher rates of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. In this scenario, interventions to control the epidemic should be evidence-based and customised to the country and geographical area: only the knowledge of the characteristics of the epidemic in specific regions allows for effective responses.”