Europe's highest rates of newly diagnosed HIV infections recorded in Russian Federation

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 number of HIV treatment courses bought by the Russian government rose 37 percent to about 360,000 previous year, according to the Treatment Preparedness Coalition, an NGO.

People can not get an Aids diagnosis unless they are already HIV positive.

"It's hard to talk about good news in the face of another year of unacceptably high numbers of people infected with HIV", said Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the World Health Organization regional office.

The report said: "This decline is due to a sharp decrease in diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, and a more gradual decline in diagnoses in heterosexual men and women".

HIV/AIDS is a viral infection caused by type 1 and type 2 HIV retroviruses.

HIV treatment significantly reduces the risk of someone with HIV passing it on. As a result, the risk increases that the persons Concerned have passed on the Virus.

The increase in HIV cases across Eastern Europe is mostly attributed to the insufficiency of preventive measures, Masoud Dara of WHO Europe revealed.

Quoted in the communiqué, Lisbon City Council's Social Rights Councilor, Manuel Grilo (BE), stresses that "it is crucial to increase the visibility of the HIV issue and to encourage people to do regular screening". These work by preventing the virus from replicating in the body which allows the immune system to fight the virus and prevent further damage. Of those, 98% are on treatment, and 97% of those on treatment are virally suppressed, meaning HIV is undetectable in their blood.

Studies have shown that a person who is on effective treatment who has an undetectable viral load can not pass on HIV.

HIV diagnoses are falling in the European Union and European Economic Area, thanks to more widespread testing, fast treatment and the roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis.

"The increasing trend in new HIV diagnoses continued for the Region overall, despite decreasing rates of new diagnoses in the EU/EEA", the executive summary posted on the ECPCD website reads.

Against the UN's 90-90-90 targets (that 90% of those living with HIV are diagnosed; 90% of people diagnosed were receiving treatment; and 90% of those being treated were virally suppressed), in 2017, 92% of people living with HIV in the United Kingdom had been diagnosed, 98% of those diagnosed were receiving treatment and 97% of people receiving treatment were virally suppressed. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the more successful treatment is likely to be, so it is very important to get tested if you think there's a chance that you might have contracted HIV.

- What do health officials say? "Our efforts must continue apace in order to eliminate HIV". The highest rates of newly diagnosed HIV infections were observed in Russian Federation in 2017, the World Health Organization's European office and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said in a report published on Wednesday, TASS reports.

- Data collated from NHS Choices, Public Health England and the Terrance Higgins Trust.

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