The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for urgent action to accelerate the HIV response in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA).
On Monday, ministers of health and senior policy-makers from 10 EECA countries met in Amsterdam to discuss progress and future actions on HIV and related comorbidities. It comes as figures show the WHO European Region is the only WHO region where new HIV infections are increasing, with a persisting trend. In 2016, more than 160,000 new HIV infections were diagnosed, almost 80 per cent of which were in EECA countries.
Speaking at the event, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe said the time to accelerate efforts is now. “We have done much; we have not done it all. When there are evidence-based approaches to revert the course of the HIV epidemic in our Region, we cannot afford doing ‘business as usual'.”
Following the dialogue, the Compendium of good practices in the health sector response to HIV in the WHO European Region was launched, which contains 52 practice examples from 32 Member States and is intended to be a resource for relevant stakeholders in the HIV response.