Last year, 131,000 people in Europe and surrounding countries were diagnosed as having been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
On Wednesday, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDCP) said that new HIV infections in the region rose 8% compared to the prior year. Most of the new infections were reported in central Asia and Eastern Europe, Voice of America noted.
Earlier HIV testing and greater availability of testing were cited as ways to promote enhanced treatment and better diagnosis of HIV infections by an ECDCP official.
The bulk of new HIV infections — 76,000 — were reported in Russia. A paucity of treatment options, prevention programs and delayed diagnoses were blamed for the increase in HIV infection reports in areas east of Europe.
Earlier this year, Danish scientists began trials on a potential cure for HIV, which involves removing HIV from human DNA so that the body’s own immune system can identify and destroy it.