Surveillance report Open Access
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The first HIV/ AIDS cases in Poland were diagnosed in the mid-1980, and the outbreak in injecting drug users was first observed in 1989. For many years the HIV epidemic in Poland was driven by injecting drug use. In this study we examine the trends in the HIV/ AIDS epidemic based on the surveillance data for 1999-2004. During this period, 3561 new HIV infections (annual rate of 15.4 per 1 000 000 inhabitants) were reported and 803 incident AIDS cases (incidence 3.5 per 1 000 000) were diagnosed. Both the annual number of newly detected HIV infections and the AIDS incidence showed a slight increasing trend. In particular, the vertically transmitted AIDS incidence increased from 0.46 in 1999 - 2000 to 0.91 per 1 000 000 children under 15 years in 2003 - 2004. Approximately 36% of AIDS patients aged 15 years or above had not been previously diagnosed with HIV. The annual number of the late presenters increased markedly between 1999 and 2004 and was higher amongst individuals infected through sexual transmission (51.0%) than those infected by injecting drug use (20.1%) . Injecting drug users made up 78.6% of new HIV infections with known transmission route, but for 47.9% of all cases the route of transmission was not reported. In order to generate more accurate data, HIV surveillance must be enhanced. Nevertheless, there is clear evidence for implementation of a comprehensive programme of prevention of vertical transmission and encouraging more extensive HIV testing especially in the groups at risk for sexual transmission. An effort is needed to enhance HIV surveillance and prevention in the framework of programmes for STI.


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