Belarus is in the top three European countries with the highest HIV rates, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) report.
The HIV epidemic in Europe is growing at an alarming rate.
Rates were highest in Russia, where 71 new cases were diagnosed per 100,000 people in 2017, followed by Ukraine (37 new cases per 100,000).
The two countries are contributing 75% of all new cases in Europe and 92% of those in the East. In Belarus, 26 new cases per 100,000 people were recorded.
In general, Europe saw nearly 160,000 new HIV cases in 2017, this is equivalent to 20 people per 100,000.
More than 130,000 of those diagnoses were in Europe’s eastern region, the most ever reported there.
The European Region is the only region where HIV infections are sharply rising. This report should be an alarm bell,” said Dr. Masoud Dara, coordinator for HIV team lead at WHO Europe.
He also noted that overall there has been a lot of progress in such parts of the region as Belarus and Georgia.
Besides, Dr. Dara urged to increase commitments to meet the 90-90-90 target by 2020.
The target is part of the Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating HIV in Europe, and worldwide, by 2030.
Rates of newly diagnosed HIV infections for 2017 were lowest in Bosnia and Herzegovina (0.3), Slovakia (1.3) and Slovenia (1.9).
Over the past three decades, more than 2.32 million people have been diagnosed with HIV in Europe. According to WHO, 36.9 million people were living with HIV globally in 2017.
Africa, where the estimated number of people living with HIV is 25.7 million, was most affected.