Sunday 15 September 2019

World Aids Day: Alarm raised as HIV rates on rise

Awareness: Politicians in Leinster House show how easy HIV testing can be to promote World Aids Day
Awareness: Politicians in Leinster House show how easy HIV testing can be to promote World Aids Day

The rate of new HIV infections reached a decade-long high in Europe last year, raising an "alarm bell" ahead of the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day on Saturday.

Europe saw nearly 160,000 new HIV cases in 2017.

This is equivalent to 20 people per 100,000, up from the 18.2 per 100,000 in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The theme for this year's World Aids Day is 'Know your Status'. Last week, a report found 9.4 million people living with HIV worldwide do not know they have the virus.

In Europe, over 80pc of infections were in Eastern Europe last year. Conservative attitudes there prevent those most at risk from getting help.

"The WHO European region is the only region where HIV infections are sharply rising," said Dr Masoud Dara, of WHO Europe. "This report should be an alarm bell."

EU and European Economic Area countries have seen new HIV infections drop, from 6.9 per 100,000 in 2016 to 5.8 per 100,000 last year.

Irish Independent

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