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Report Finds HIV Infections Increased in Europe

Update Date: Nov 27, 2013 11:44 AM EST

A new report published by the World Health Organization's (WHO) European office and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) discovered an increase in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infections in Europe last year. According to the findings, in 2012, there were around 131,000 new cases of HIV in Europe and nearby nations. These new cases led to an eight percent increase from 2011.

"The high and increasing number of AIDS cases in the East is indicative of late HIV diagnosis, low treatment coverage and delayed initiation of life-saving HIV treatment," the WHO/ECDC team stated according to FOX News.

The researchers reported that around 76,000 of the new HIV cases originated from Russia alone. The East, which encompasses several Asian former Soviet republics, has also experienced an increase in the number of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) cases by 113 percent from 2006 to 2012. The number of newly diagnosed AIDS cases in Western Europe, however, has fallen by 48 percent.

Researchers explained that the discrepancies in the incidence rates for HIV and AIDs could be due to differences in preventative measures, treatments and maintenance. In some regions of the world, people are at a greater risk of getting infected with HIV. With poor screening procedures and hard to acquire antiretroviral therapy, more AIDS cases develop as well.

"Our data show that nearly every second person tested positive for HIV [in the region] - that's 49 percent - is diagnosed late in the course of their infection, which means they need antiretroviral therapy right away because their immune system is already starting to fail," the director of ECDC, Marc Sprenger said. "We need to make HIV testing more available across Europe to ensure earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment and care."

The report can be found here.

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