According to a new report released by European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and WHO’s regional office in Europe, the number of new HIV cases has been growing alarmingly in the region and more so in eastern part of the continent. In 2017, around 160,000 new cases were diagnosed of which around 130,000 belong to the continent’s eastern region. Data analysis revealed that while rate of new HIV cases in East was alarmingly high at 51.1 per 100,000 cases in east Europe the other regions were mildly lesser with 6.4 new for every 100,000 cases in west and central part at 3.2 new cases per 100,000.
Russia had the highest HIV rates with 71 new cases diagnosed per 100,000 people in 2017 while Ukraine and Belarus were close contenders. Due to this scenario this region will not be able to meet the 90-90-90 target of 2020 set by WHO and United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. The aim of this program was to diagnose 90 percent of all HIV positive patients and provide them with antiretroviral therapy and then achieve viral suppression of all those 90 percent that were treated. This was part of Sustainable Development Goal for eliminating HIV in Europe and worldwide by 2030.
Dr. Masoud Dara, coordinator of communicable diseases and leader of HIV team at WHO Europe stated that the report has brought to light how far behind target is their aim of eradicating HIV within Europe. He stated that report’s significance is in its ability to showcase how the eastern part of the continent is still behind other parts where HIV infection numbers are dropping significantly. To meet the WHO target, new infections should decline by 78 percent by 2020. In the last three decades more than 2.32 million people were diagnosed with HIV in Europe itself and 36.9 million people are living with HIV across the globe as per WHO data.