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European Commission sets out HIV/Aids action plan

Says two-year programme proves HIV/Aids remains an EU health policy priority

European CommissionTackling HIV-related discrimination, achieving better access to voluntary testing and keeping HIV/Aids high on the political agenda will form a core part of the European Commission's new Action Plan on HIV/Aids.

The two-year programme will continue to prioritise HIV prevention and awareness-raising around risk behaviour and early treatment and care.

Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health, said: "[The] Action Plan shows that the fight against HIV/Aids remains a priority for EU health policy. We need to address the worrying increase of HIV/Aids in some parts of the EU.

“To do this, we must reach out to the citizens who are most at risk, fight all forms of discrimination, and foster access to diagnosis and treatment. I am fully committed to this cause and call on all actors - health authorities, NGOs, international organisations - to join us in putting this plan in action".

Although global numbers of new HIV infections show an overall decrease, in Europe, the figures are increasing, with a one per cent rise between 2011 and 2012, when 29,000 new cases were reported in the EU and the European Economic Area.

Additional measures to improve this situation in the EC's Action Plan included targeted support for additional at-risk populations, such as prisoners and sex workers.

There will also be a focus on addressing co-morbidities, such as tuberculosis and hepatitis and improved cooperation with Eastern European Member States and neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, the Commission's last, 2009, action plan for the area is the subject of an independent external evaluation process, the results of which are due before the summer and are expected to feed into a possible future EU policy framework on HIV/Aids.

18th March 2014

From: Healthcare

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