HIV testing in Europe has not caught up with the backlog caused by COVID-19

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LONDON (Reuters) – HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing in Europe has not caught up since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening Europe’s goal of eradicating AIDS. by 2030, shows a report from the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

According to this report, new HIV diagnoses in the WHO European region are still around 25% lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is likely that the decrease in screening tests and the additional strains due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical sectors and also on the public health institutes have had an impact on the detection of cases in 2020 and 2021, and we believe this phenomenon continues today,” Anastasia Pharris, an HIV specialist at ECDC, told a press conference on Wednesday.

According to the report, one in eight people living with HIV in the WHO European region have not been diagnosed with the virus.

Late detection of HIV infection increases the risk of developing serious illnesses, even of dying, but also of spreading the virus.

(Report Maggie Fick, French version Lina Golovnya)

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