HIV infections were diagnosed for over 142,000 people in Europe during 2014, representing the largest number of newly discovered infections during one year since the nineteen-eighties, when monitoring began. In the east of the continent the HIV virus is most frequently transmitted by heterosexual contact, while in EU countries by way of sexual relations among men. Global and European healthcare experts warn that Europe did not do enough during the last ten years to stop HIV and require better prevention, testing for early discovery and treatment for all those infected, with particular attention to vulnerable groups such as migrants. Within the region of Central Europe, Serbia is, along with Macedonia, the country with the least number of discovered HIV infections in 2014.
Data from the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO) were published on the occasion of 1 December, the International Day of Combating AIDS.
Two out of three new cases of HIV infections were discovered among citizens originating from Europe, while one third are foreign citizens, including migrants.
According to official data, in Serbia there are 2,076 persons infected with the HIV virus, while assessments indicate around 1,100 do not know they have been infected, states the Public Health Institute of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”.
The report states that nearly half the HIV infections in Europe are discovered late, meaning greater risk for health, danger of a deadly outcome and the transmission of HIV. A large number of AIDS cases in eastern parts of Europe confirm the damage of late diagnosis of HIV infection, delayed therapy and low treatment coverage. Experts from WHO and ECDC emphasize the importance of early testing.