Eastern Europe’s Deadly HIV Problem

HIV transmission remains a major public health concern and affects more than 2 million people in Europe. Nearly 160 000 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2017 at a rate of 20.0 per 100 000 population, once again the highest rate ever reported for one year. An increasing majority, 82%, were diagnosed in Eastern Europe and 16% in the EU/EEA. Newly diagnosed infections from two countries alone (the Russian Federation and Ukraine) contributed 75% of all cases in the WHO European Region and 92% of cases in the East.

Overall numbers of people diagnosed with HIV were highest in Eastern Europe (51.1 per 100 000 population), lower in Western Europe and the EU/EEA (6.9 and 6.2 per 100 000, respectively) and lowest in Central Europe (3.2 per 100 000).

Sexual transmission between men was the most common mode in the EU/EEA and heterosexual contact and injecting drug use were the main reported transmission modes in Eastern Europe.

New HIV diagnoses per 100,000 people in 2017

The highest rate of HIV infections in Europe is in Russia (71 new HIV diagnoses per 100,000 people), followed by Ukraine (37), Belarus (26), and Moldova (21).

Data: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and World Health Organization

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