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AIDS' Effect on Europe's Population

Eastern Europe:
The United Nations report on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe released on February 17, 2004 warned that the spread of AIDS through the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe had reached crisis proportions. Though the epidemic largely spared the region as it ravaged other areas in the 1980s and 1990s, AIDS is now spreading faster here than anywhere else. One in every 100 adults in Russia and several other neighboring countries now has HIV, a rate behind only sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Most cases are a result of intravenous drug use, with the hardest hit countries being Russia, Ukraine, Estonia and Latvia, while the virus continues to spread quickly in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova, according to the first comprehensive U.N. study of AIDS in the region. The U.N. forecasts that AIDS will cost Russia at least 9 million people by 2045, there are already an estimated 1 million people with the virus by the end of 2003.

Sources: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ and http://www.unaids.org/

Western Europe:
According to AVERT, an AIDS organization based in the UK, 165,454 HIV infections had been reported in 17 countries of Western Europe by the end of 2002. A total of 14,439 new cases of HIV were reported in 2002 for Western Europe:
  • 44% of infections occurred through heterosexual contact.
  • 26% were in men who have sex with men.
  • 12% were in injecting drug users.
  • 16% had no transmission-group reported.
  • 35% were female.
  • 30% were less than 30 years old.
The number of new HIV diagnoses in 2002 increased by 23% compared to 2001. This increase was mainly due to sharp increases in cases reported in the UK, which accounted for 42% of all HIV infections reported in the West and in Germany. This was due to a steep rise in heterosexual transmission of HIV in the UK. Over 70% of heterosexually acquired HIV infections reported in the UK were believed to have occurred in Africa, many being in people who had recently migrated to the UK. Overall in the West, heterosexual contact is now the most frequent transmission mode, accounting for 44% of all new HIV cases reported in 2002. The alarming difference between the rate of AIDS cases in Western and Eastern Europe has been referred to as “Europe’s New Iron Curtain,” by the BBC.

Source: http://www.avert.org/eurosum.htm