More than half of HIV diagnoses are made late in Europe

More than 2.4 million people have been diagnosed with HIV infection in Europe in 2022, but there are still many undiagnosed, and many of them have been detected late, more than half.

The document also reveals that, in Europe, more than half of HIV diagnoses are made too latewith a CD4 count below 350 cells/mm3, indicating that it is necessary to determine why people do not access HIV treatment in time.

Although there is great variation between different countries in Europe, the results indicate the need to improve HIV testing programs and address barriers, including reducing stigma to avoid late diagnoses.

Stigma takes many forms, from society at large to the healthcare sector itself.

Although the European Region has made progress in the fight against HIV, significant challenges remain in identifying and treating cases, as well as preventing infection in the first place. Expanding access to HIV testing and treatment, along with recognizing and addressing the persistent HIV-related stigma and discrimination that prevent people from seeking diagnosis and care, are key steps to stopping the rise of infection in various parts of the world. region.

«An HIV diagnosis is not a death sentence. Once diagnosed, highly effective treatments are available, which also help reduce the spread of the disease,” explained Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

«This increase in diagnoses is a great achievement; However, we still have a way to go. We know that there are a significant number of people in our Region who do not realize that they are living with HIV; in fact, only 72% are aware of their status. The sad truth is that, four decades after HIV was identified, persistent stigma prevents many people from coming forward. “We simply will not reach everyone with the care and treatment they need until we overcome the stigma associated with HIV,” he added.


The report also reveals that the migration of people with HIV to EU/EEA countries has also contributed to the increase in HIV diagnoses. 16.6% of diagnoses in the EU/EEA were from people who arrived in these countries with an existing diagnosis. These data indicate the need for migrant-sensitive HIV testing and prevention services and rapid linkage to accessible treatment for all people with HIV in the region.

“While an increase in diagnoses in 2022 might seem like a negative, it is evidence that we are moving in the right direction, with many people with HIV better able to access the testing, treatments and support services they need. But we can and must do more. “More than 10% of people with HIV in the EU/EEA are still unaware of their status, something that contributes to the late diagnoses we are seeing, worse outcomes and the continued spread of HIV,” said ECDC Director Andrea Ammon.

More than 10% of people with HIV in the EU/EEA are still unaware of their status, contributing to late diagnoses

And he added that “in the last year alone, 1 in 6 people with HIV have avoided health services for fear of being treated differently. Stigma in healthcare settings leads to avoidance of healthcare services, which in turn contributes to delayed HIV diagnosis and treatment. “We need to address stigma in these settings to ensure that people with HIV can seek care without fear of being treated differently because of their HIV status.”

Improved access to testing has led to a 4.2% increase in HIV diagnoses, with 37 out of 49 countries reporting an increase in numbers. Several countries recorded the highest number of diagnoses in a single year. Data reveals that 110,486 HIV diagnoses were made in the European Region in 2022, raising the total to 2.4 million.

Factors contributing to the increase in diagnoses in 2022 include the resumption of normal testing services after the Covid-19 pandemic, the expansion of targeted HIV testing services, and the implementation of new testing strategies.

By Editor

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