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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection remains of major public health importance in Europe, with evidence of increasing transmission of HIV in several countries. This article provides an overview of HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) surveillance data, and indicates that since 2000 the rate of newly reported cases of HIV per million population has almost doubled in Europe. In 2007, a total of 48,892 cases of HIV infection were reported from 49 of 53 countries in the Region, with the highest rates in Estonia, Ukraine, Portugal and the Republic of Moldova. In the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, the predominant mode of transmission for HIV infection is sex between men followed by heterosexual contact. Injecting drug use is still the main mode of transmission in the eastern part of the WHO European region, while in the central part heterosexual contact is the predominant mode of transmission. In 2007, the reported number of AIDS cases diagnosed decreased in the Region overall, except in the eastern part. HIV/AIDS surveillance data are vital to monitor the trends of the HIV epidemic and evaluate public health responses.


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