A report reveals the serious impact of the epidemic on the fight against HIV in Europe

A report reveals the serious impact of the epidemic on the fight against HIV in Europe

A report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) revealed that the provision of HIV treatment services in Europe and Central Asia was severely affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to testing. AIDS testing declined the most among all government services related to the disease, followed by prevention services for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, condom distribution, harm reduction for people who inject drugs, and other prevention measures. The authors believe that the effect The diversion of resources to treat this infectious disease remains significant today compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, the report notes that in 2022 more countries reported an increase in HIV service provision than in 2021.

HIV staff and facilities to combat coronavirus

The study, titled “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the HIV Response in Europe and Central Asia,” covers the years 2021 and 2022 and suggests that reductions in HIV services were a result of the pandemic. Specifically, experts suggest that it occurred because Transfer staff and resources from HIV service facilities, which has been redirected to support the COVID-19 crisis. Only a quarter of countries surveyed said they had transferred funds from the fight against HIV by 2021, and in contrast, only three-quarters claimed to have allocated staff and clinical facilities. Although HIV treatment services have been affected, it is worth noting that some countries have implemented measures to ensure that people living with the disease do not discontinue their treatment, including prescriptions, for a longer period.

Additionally, the study authors highlight the challenges countries face in maintaining essential services related to HIV detection and treatment during global health crises and point to key populations that will be most vulnerable to service limitations. In the case of Covid-19, experts say: Sex workers were the most affected. This represents greater vulnerability due to increased risky behaviors and decreased access to basic services.

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