HIV diagnoses rise in Europe

Urgent action is needed on the HIV epidemic in the European region, the World Health Organization has warned.

A new report warns that rates of infection continue to increase in most of the region.

The report was published jointly with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control yesterday in advance of World Aids Day on Friday.

It covers HIV and AIDS information for 2022, during which there was a greater population movement across Europe which affected patterns of HIV infection trends.

Surveillance was improving in 2022 following the pandemic, and this led to the identification of many previously undiagnosed cases.

There was a rise in diagnosis in 37 of the 49 countries in the European region compared with 2021, including some record-high numbers, possibly due to increased testing.

In total there were 110,486 HIV cases diagnosed in 2022, a rate of about 12 diagnoses per 100,000 population.

Commenting on the report, Dr Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said: “An HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence. Once diagnosed, highly effective treatment is available, which also helps reduce the spread of the disease, keeping your loved ones safe.

“This increase in diagnoses is a great achievement and I applaud those working hard to make rapid testing available in the communities where people with HIV live. However, we still have a way to go to ensure no one is left behind.

“We know there are significant numbers of people in our Region who do not realise they are living with HIV; in fact, only 72% are aware of their status. The sad truth is that some four decades after HIV was identified, persistent stigma prevents many people from coming forward.

“We simply will not reach everyone with the care and treatment they need until we move beyond the stigma associated with HIV.”



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