A significant East-West divide and people over 50 years old are revealed as contributory factors as undiagnosed cases of HIV climb throughout the European Region as a whole, according to a report published Thursday by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO Europe).
However, it is the statistical revelation that every second HIV diagnosis (53 percent) is being made during the latter stage of the infection when the immune system is already beginning to fail which draws most concern from the report’s compilers.
Significantly, the report reveals that new diagnoses across the more prosperous European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries also declined by 9 percent during the same period.
The report maintains that the importance of early diagnosis is that it allows people to start HIV treatment sooner, which increases their chances of survival and prevents the possibility of further transmission.
“The reasons for this are not yet fully understood. It may be that older adults themselves, or the health-care workers looking after them, underestimate the risk of infection,” said the report.
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