The overall decline in the EU/EEA resulted primarily from a 20% drop in new diagnoses among men who have sex with men between 2015 and 2017, which remains the predominant mode of HIV transmission (38% in 2017) in this part of Europe.
The momentum to revamp political commitment to end AIDS by 2030 has never been so strong in the European Region.
The increase in HIV cases across Eastern Europe is mostly attributed to the insufficiency of preventive measures, Masoud Dara of WHO Europe revealed. "To support people living with HIV and protect those at higher risk of infection, we need to fast track action by tailoring interventions".
World AIDS Day is a day to show solidarity for the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Positive not only that the increase in case numbers in 2017 was as strong as in the previous year, according to the Report.
The number of new HIV diagnoses in the region continued to rise in 2017, but the pace of the increase is slowing, according to the report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. "The messages reflect, therefore, this reality, with more prevention tools at our disposal, "says Manuel Grilo, considering that" for full access to information and treatments", it will be necessary to" reduce barriers, inequality and stigma ".
"It is hard to speak of good news, if one looks to another year with unacceptable high probability of paying back", says Zsuzsanna Jakap, Director of the WHO Regional Office Europe.
The overall trend suggested the European region would not achieve the United Nations target of eliminating HIV/AIDS by 2030.
"Despite our efforts, HIV still damages the lives of so many people, and causes not only much suffering and illness, but also discrimination and stigmatization", said Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
He said that public awareness was essential on HIV/AIDS testing, prevention and treatment. Injecting drugs and heterosexual intercourse are the most common reasons for the transmission of the disease in this region.
Dr. Anton Pozniak, president of the International AIDS Society, said there needs to be a focus on removing stigma that surrounds HIV diagnosis.
With heterosexual contact and intravenous drug use among the most commonly reported means of transmission in the East, Dara said, it is important for everyone to realize they could be at risk of infection. This is the largest number of HIV diagnoses, which was ever pronounced in the Region. 31 (41%) new HIV diagnoses were made at a late stage.
"This is a potential shift from mainly affecting key populations to affecting the general population".