84 new cases of HIV diagnosed in Northern Ireland a year ago

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"If you look at the late diagnosis rates, which are still quite high, that tells us that there's still much more to be done", said Matthew Hodson, executive director of NAM, a British HIV/Aids information charity. The report states that in the East there are 51.1 new cases diagnosed per 100,000 people while there are 6.4 new cases per 100,000 people and 3.2 diagnoses per 100,000 people in Central Europe.

Despite the huge progress made in controlling the global endemic since the 1980s, Europe saw almost 160,000 new HIV cases in 2017.

Now there is no cure for HIV, but there are effective drug treatments that enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life.

"People who inject drugs account for the largest proportion of new diagnoses of any key population at 48.8% but heterosexual sex may soon overtake injecting drug use as the main means of HIV transmission", he said.

The figures are drastically different within the European Union, though, when compared with the eastern part of the region.

This message you have received in the past year, more than 130,000 people in Eastern Europe.

The HIV epidemic that has been harrowing Europe, particularly the eastern region, is alarming as stated in the report by the World Health Organization and the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control. "Today's report is a poignant and powerful reminder of how far we've come", UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement.

Public Health England (PHE) has hailed the UK's efforts to prevent the spread of HIV a success, as the number of new patients diagnosed with the infection continues to decline.

"It is hard to speak of good news, if one looks to another year with unacceptable high probability of paying back", says Zsuzsanna Jakap, Director of the WHO Regional Office Europe.

European Union and European Economic Area countries saw a reduction in 2017 rates, mainly driven by a 20 percent drop since 2015 among men who have sex with men. Dr. Anton Pozniak, president of the International AIDS Society also called for removal of the stigma around HIV AIDS.

"In the East, particularly in Russian Federation, the shift away from progressive policies towards socially conservative legislation is a barrier to implementing HIV prevention and treatment".

"Policies that reduce social marginalisation, stigma and discrimination are needed as are increased funding for prevention and testing", Pozniak said in a statement. We need to capitalise on the full potential of our joint and sustained actions, as well as increased collaboration with our partners across borders if we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating HIV - in Europe and worldwide - by 2030.

He was addressing a seminar in connection with World AIDS Day.

"We all need to realise our responsibilities and the critical role we all have to play to make Pakistan HIV free".



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