Europe AIDS and HIV Infection

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection remains of major public health importance in Europe, with evidence of increasing transmission of HIV in several countries. This article provides an overview of HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) surveillance data, and indicates that since 2000 the rate of newly reported cases of HIV per million population has almost doubled in Europe.

Europe AIDS and HIV Infection

In 2007, a total of 48,892 cases of HIV infection were reported from 49 of 53 countries in the Region, with the highest rates in Estonia, Ukraine, Portugal and the Republic of Moldova. In the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, the predominant mode of transmission for HIV infection is sex between men followed by heterosexual contact. Injecting drug use is still the main mode of transmission in the eastern part of the WHO European region, while in the central part heterosexual contact is the predominant mode of transmission. In 2007, the reported number of AIDS cases diagnosed decreased in the Region overall, except in the eastern part. HIV/AIDS surveillance data are vital to monitor the trends of the HIV epidemic and evaluate public health responses.

Since January 2008, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe have been jointly carrying out the HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe [1]. This article presents the main findings for the whole WHO European Region, the three geographical regions of the WHO European Region (West, Centre and East)* and the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.

HIV case reports in WHO European Region

In 2007, 48,892 newly diagnosed HIV cases (76 per million population) were reported from 49 of the 53 countries in the WHO European Region (no data from Austria, Italy, Monaco and the Russian Federation). In the three parts of the WHO European Region, the rate of newly reported cases of HIV per million population was highest in the East (Table 1); whereas among individual countries, the highest rates were reported in: Estonia (472 per million), Ukraine (285 per million), Portugal (217 per million) and the Republic of Moldova (204 per million). Between 2000 and 2007, the annual rate of newly reported cases of HIV per million population has increased from 39 to 75 per million (90% increase) among the 44 countries that have consistently reported.

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