Despite progress, new HIV diagnoses in Europe ‘alarmingly high’

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One reason for the persistent HIV epidemic in Europe is that late diagnosis remains a challenge across the whole Region.

The report states that in the East there are 51.1 new cases diagnosed per 100,000 people while there are 6.4 new cases per 100,000 people and 3.2 diagnoses per 100,000 people in Central Europe. But more can be done - an estimated 43% of new HIV diagnoses in 2017 were made at a late stage of infection, the United Kingdom figures showed.

"It's hard to talk about good news in the face of another year of unacceptably high numbers of people infected with HIV". Last week, a UNAID report found that 9.4 million people living with HIV worldwide do not now know they are living with the virus.

In Europe, over 80pc of infections were in Eastern Europe past year.

"State-sponsored homophobia and transphobia (have become) a crucial issue", said Yuri Yoursky of the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health, which supports men with HIV/AIDS in the region.

In a statement, WHO Regional Director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab called on governments to "scale up your response now". An estimated 92% of the of 102,000 people living with HIV in Britain have been diagnosed, according to Public Health England (PHE). "This means investing wisely in prevention, testing and treatment particularly in key populations to end the AIDS epidemic as we promised". Conservative attitudes there prevent those most at risk from getting help.

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at University College London (UCL), Sheena McCormack, told CNN that while the report shows there has been "small gains" in Europe, it paints a clear message.

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"Policies that reduce social marginalisation, stigma and discrimination are needed as are increased funding for prevention and testing", Pozniak said in a statement.

As apart of Annual Worlds Aids Day, Webster University is teaming up with St. Louis County Health Department to offer free HIV Aids testing and counseling from noon to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 29.

Noel Gill, head of sexually transmitted infections and HIV at PHE, said that although prevention efforts are working, "efforts must continue apace in order to eliminate HIV".

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".

"Where human rights for LGBT (people) are not accepted, and are not free and protected for everyone, there can not be efficient HIV prevention", Yoursky said. "That's very important, and we have to make sure that people are coming for tests at all levels".

The number of Russian men who were infected with HIV through having sex with another man more than doubled to 695 between 2008 and 2015, according to official data.

"The increased rate of new diagnoses in the region since 2012 comes amid a global decline and Masoud Dara, HIV specialist at the World Health Organization, said it could be "an early indication of overspill in the general population".

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