Baku, November 28, AZERTAC
Over 142,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in Europe in 2014. This is the highest number in a single year to be reported since the 1980s, says the World Health Organisation (WHO), according to EurActiv.
According to the WHO's Regional Office for Europe, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the growth of the epidemic is driven by Eastern Europe, where the number of new diagnoses has more than doubled during the past decade.
Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO's regional director for Europe, called the new figures "a serious concern".
“With all the evidence on HIV prevention and control, including new treatment guidelines, we call on European countries to take bold action and curb the HIV epidemic once and for all,” she said.
The WHO and the ECDC say the increase in the HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe comes from heterosexual transmission, for the most part through drug injection.
In the EU, as well as in countries that are members of the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), sex between men is the predominant cause of HIV transmission.
“Since 2005, rates of new diagnoses have more than doubled in some EU and EEA countries and decreased by 25% in others. But the overall HIV epidemic persists largely unchanged. This means that the HIV response in the EU and the EEA has not been effective enough to result in a noticeable decline over the last decade,” said Andrea Ammoni, the ECDC's acting director.