Russia is the leader in the number of new HIV infections in Europe

The number of new cases of HIV infection in the European region in 2017 was about 160 thousand, of which 130 thousand were in Eastern Europe, this is the highest figure in the entire history of statistics. The leaders among the countries in the number of new cases were Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. This is stated in the report of the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe (WHO).

As noted in the report, the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections in Europe reached 159,420 (approximately 20 cases per 100,000 population) and continues to grow, but at a slower pace than in previous years. The highest incidence rates per 100 thousand population were recorded in Latvia (18.8, or a total of 371 cases) and Estonia (16.6, or a total of 219 cases). One of the reasons for the growth, according to WHO experts, is late diagnosis: the late stage of the disease is found in every second person diagnosed with HIV infection. At the same time, the number of AIDS cases continued to decline, including in the east of the region, where in 2012–2017 this figure fell by seven percent.


In Eastern Europe, where more than 130,000 new HIV cases were reported in 2017 (51.13 cases per 100,000 population), 59 percent of cases occurred through heterosexual sex. The Federal Scientific and Methodological Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS in Russia reported 104,402 new cases of HIV infection in 2017 – this put Russia at the top of this indicator in Europe. The highest rates per 100,000 population were observed in the Russian Federation (71.1 cases), Ukraine (37 cases), Belarus (26.1 cases) and Moldova (20.6 cases). “HIV cases diagnosed for the first time in two countries (the Russian Federation and Ukraine) account for 75% of all cases in the WHO European Region and 92% in the east of the region,” the report says.

WHO experts point out that at this rate the European region will not be able to achieve one of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for “putting an end to the AIDS epidemic.” On whether humanity as a whole will be able to defeat HIV by this date, read in our material “Catch up in 10 years . 

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