HIV infection surged to record numbers in Europe in 2014: WHO

Copenhagen, Nov 26 (IANS/EFE) A record number of people — over 142,000 — were diagnosed with HIV in Europe in 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Thursday.

The increase in HIV cases is caused by the rise in infection rates in Eastern Europe, where HIV diagnoses have doubled in the last decade, according to a report released by the WHO European Region and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

While heterosexual transmission is responsible for the increase in Eastern Europe, homosexual relations between men are responsible for the increase in European Union countries.

“HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men have been rising at an alarming rate, from 30 percent in 2005 to 42 percent in 2014, with increases in all but six EU and EEA countries,” WHO and ECDC warned.

Two in three new HIV infections are among native-born Europeans, while foreign-born individuals, including migrants, represent only one third of HIV diagnoses.

Almost half of HIV infections throughout the European region are diagnosed late, which increases the risks of ill health, HIV transmission and death across Europe.

–IANS/EFE

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