Vienna. Many topics have been marginalized in times of the corona crisis – including AIDS. On World AIDS Day, which will be celebrated on December 1st, experts and organizations are now again drawing more attention to this. An improved test strategy is required across Europe. The WHO recently announced that the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV is increasing in Europe. More than half of infections are only recognized at a late stage, when the immune system has already started to fail. In Europe, almost 136,500 people were diagnosed in 2019.
For many, the diagnosis is made very late, which makes subsequent therapy difficult, emphasizes Aids Hilfe Wien. If HIV infection is discovered at an early stage, those affected can “live very well” with therapy. A project is currently being prepared on the problem of late diagnosis, which is not purely Austrian. Those affected are mostly men around the age of 50, often not from the urban area. Therefore, attempts are being made to create offers in rural areas.
225 new cases in Austria
The number of people with a new HIV diagnosis rose by 19 percent in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region in the last ten years, and this number has decreased by nine percent in the corresponding EU and EEA countries. In Austria 225 new cases were reported in the previous year, compared to 363 in 2010. In contrast, diagnoses in Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia have more than doubled in the last ten years, and in Bulgaria and Poland they increased by more than 50 percent to. “Despite the current focus on Covid-19, we must not lose sight of other public health issues,” said the EU health authority ECDC.