Gaps in HIV prevention expose Europe to risk of outbreaks
The long-term decline in HIV diagnoses related to drug injecting could change as it did when HIV spread rapidly among injecting drug users in Greece and Romania in 2011 and 2012.1 Dec 2014
In Europe, decades of investment in effective HIV prevention measures targeting people who inject drugs continue to bear fruit as demonstrated by the long-term decline in HIV diagnoses related to drug injecting. Over the past ten years, the rate of newly reported HIV diagnoses attributed to injecting drug use in the EU, Turkey and Norway has more than halved from 52 per million population in 2004 (2644 cases) to 25 in 2013 (1458 cases).
The trend can quickly change, however, as it did when HIV spread rapidly among injecting drug users in Greece and Romania in 2011 and 2012. In the absence of effective measures to curb these epidemics, the explosive spread of infections among injecting drug users in the capital cities resulted in these two countries accounting for more than one third of all new HIV diagnoses associated with injecting drug use notified in the whole of the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) in 2012, whereas in 2010 they had represented only 2% of the total.
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