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Nearly two-thirds of European HIV cases are now in Russia
Gus Cairns, 2017-01-09 10:30:00
The annual number of new cases of HIV increased by at least 8%
in 2015 in the whole of the World Health Organization’s European region, and by 60% in the last decade, according to last month’s annual surveillance
report by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and WHO Europe.
A continued increase in new diagnoses in Russia was
responsible for most of the increase. The previous year, as
Aidsmap reported, 60% of European-region new cases were in
Russia. In 2015 this increased to 64% of all cases.
The 98,177 diagnoses
recorded last year in Russia equate to one HIV diagnosis for every 1493 Russians each year. In comparison,
the 55,230 diagnoses recorded in the rest of the WHO region represent one
diagnosis for every 13,157 people – one-ninth as many per head.
The number of new HIV diagnoses in Russia has increased 15% in
one year, 57% since 2010, and 133% since 2006. Russia admitted this year that
more than a million of its citizens have HIV. This is 0.8% of its adult population and is at least the same number as the
USA in a country with 45% of the US population. At the current rate of increase, this will double in the next twelve years.
Excluding Russia, 46% of infections in the WHO Europe region were
ascribed to heterosexual sex, 26% to sex between men, and 13% to injecting drug
use – and less than one per cent to mother-to-child transmission. In the last
ten years, infections in MSM have increased by 38% and in heterosexuals by 19%,
but have fallen in injecting drug users by 38%. In Russia, heterosexual sex is the cause ascribed to
half of all recorded cases and a third to injecting drug use.