Policy European HIV response "falling behind" as Eastern European epidemic grows

Published: December 5, 2014

aidsmap
Keith Alcorn
Original Article:  bit.ly/1FXIuAq

HIV diagnoses have increased by 80% in the European region since 2004, and three quarters of new HIV diagnoses in the European region are occurring in Eastern Europe, yet the scale and targeting of HIV prevention, testing and treatment in Eastern Europe are inadequate, a European meeting on standards of care for HIV and coinfections in Europe heard last week in Rome.

The meeting, organised by the European AIDS Clinical Society, preceded a high-level European Union Ministerial Meeting on HIV organised by the Italian Ministry of Health, designed to renew momentum on HIV among European Union policy makers ten years after the 2004 Dublin Declaration set out a framework for actions to tackle the growing epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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Although the rate of increase of HIV diagnoses has remained almost flat for the population as a whole in the European Union since 2004, this lack of increase disguises a major shift in the epidemic. Whereas HIV diagnoses among heterosexual men and women and people who inject drugs have gone down, new diagnoses among men who have sex with men have risen by 33% since 2004, with a particularly sharp increase seen in 2010 and 2011. “Men who have sex with men are the number one priority in the European Union,” he said.

He outlined five priorities for action in the European region to reverse the increase in HIV diagnoses.

The first priority is targeted prevention at an appropriate scale for key populations – men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, migrants, prisoners and sex workers – he said. There is variable coverage of harm reduction interventions even within the European Union.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1FXIuAq
 

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