Highest number of new HIV cases in Europe

With HIV infection diagnosed in over 142,000 people in 2014, the WHO European Region recorded the highest number of newly diagnosed infections in 1 year since the start of reporting in the 1980s. The most recent data indicates that the growth of the HIV epidemic is driven by the eastern part of the Region, where the number of new diagnoses has more than doubled during the past decade.

Heterosexual transmission is responsible for the increase in eastern Europe, and transmission through drug injection remains substantial. In the EU and the EEA, sex between men is the predominant mode of HIV transmission. Two in three new HIV infections are among native-born Europeans, while foreign-born individuals, including migrants, represent only one third of HIV diagnoses.

During the past decade, the number of diagnoses of HIV infection in migrants in Europe has declined sharply, and evidence shows that a significant proportion acquire HIV after arrival in Europe.

Almost half of HIV infections throughout the European Region are diagnosed late: this increases the risks for ill health, death and HIV transmission. The high number of AIDS cases in the eastern part of the Region confirms the role of late HIV diagnosis, delayed initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and low treatment coverage.
The number of AIDS cases is going down continuously in the EU and EEA. But two thirds of AIDS diagnoses reported in 2014 occurred at the time of or shortly after the HIV diagnosis, indicating that the immune system of these people had already started to fail. Migrants are more likely to have a late diagnosis, but only half of EU and EEA countries provide free treatment for undocumented migrants.

To read more about HIV in Europe on the euro.who.int website