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Health minister calls for collective efforts to defeat HIV-AIDS

29 November 2018

Around the world, there are an estimated 36.9 million people who have the virus, with the worst affected countries being Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia according to the CIA World Factbook. The HIV surveillance in Northern Ireland 2018 study shows that 84 of these cases were diagnosed in 2017. More than 130,000 of those diagnoses were in Europe's eastern region, the most ever reported there.

The rate in the East - 51.1 new cases diagnosed per 100,000 people - was "disproportionately higher" than in the West, which had a rate of 6.4 new cases per 100,000 people, the reportfound. Central Europe's rate was 3.2 diagnoses per 100,000 people.

The new PHA report revealed that there were 84 new cases of HIV diagnosed here in 2017.

This graph shows the substantive target, overall and by World Health Organization subregion, 2018, and comparison between 2018 and 2016.

The global targets set out by UNAIDS for 2020 are to diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive people, provide antiretroviral therapy for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated (known as 90-90-90 targets). That left Europe's overall increasing trend less steep than previously.

The figures are drastically different within the European Union, though, when compared with the eastern part of the region. However, Dara said the current state is far from reaching this target.

Over the past three decades, more than 2.32 million people have been diagnosed with HIV in Europe.

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

USA life expectancy drops, overdoses climb - govt report
Increases have been prominent among the female population despite the fact that most people who die by suicide are still male. The suicide death rate last year was the highest it's been in at least 50 years, according to US government records.

Dara said there were multiple factors behind the HIV rate in Eastern Europe, with the most important one being a lack of prevention.

But methadone, which research has shown helps to prevent injecting drug users passing on HIV, is banned in Russian Federation.

Policies that diversify and enhance the offer of HIV tests could help address the problem of late diagnosis across Europe, as outlined in the new ECDC guidance on HIV, hepatitis B and C testing.

Dr Baseer said that HIV testing was essential for expanding treatment and ensuring that all people living with HIV could lead healthy and productive lives.

Those who inject drugs using a hypodermic needle are 23 times more likely to catch HIV and female sex workers 13 percent more likely. Man-to-man sex, meanwhile, is the main cause in the European Economic Area and the European Union.

"We are not doing enough in the region to control the epidemic in spite of having the necessary tools to do so", McCormack said in an email. Dr. Anton Pozniak, president of the International AIDS Society also called for removal of the stigma around HIV AIDS.

He said that presently HIV/AIDS treatment centres were working efficiently across the country besides prevention the parent to child transmission centres for pregnant women. The improved results in the United Kingdom were put down to increased HIV testing, higher rates of condom use and a reduction in the time between diagnosis and starting treatment.

He said that renewed commitment to sustain funding and scaled-up implementation of HIV prevention programme was mandatory to end the HIV epidemic as a public health threat.

Health minister calls for collective efforts to defeat HIV-AIDS

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