AIDS cases fall in European Union

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According to new information from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the number of new AIDS cases reported within EU member states fell during 2001 compared to the previous year. 8,210 cases were reported in 2001, a fall of 11%.

The total number of AIDS cases reported within the EU since the syndrome was first recognised has now reached 235,000. Year on year, the estimated incidence rate was 21.8 cases per million people in 2001, and 24.4 cases per million in 2000. Rates vary widely within member states however, which in part reflects the timing of HIV’s establishment within affected communities. While in most states the incidence rate has fallen since 1990, the rate in Portugal has increased substantially to 105.8 cases per million in 2001. Alongside Spain, Italy and France, Portugal is one of the four worst affected European states. Spain has recorded the highest total number of AIDS cases since 1981 (63,000), followed by France (55,000) and Italy (50,000).

In line with the changing epidemic, the proportion of European AIDS cases seen in gay and bisexual men is now lower than prior to 1995. The proportion due to injecting drug use is also lower. Whilst national epidemics vary, overall 39.4% of AIDS cases in Europe have been seen in injecting drug users; 32.6% in gay and bisexual men; and 17.6% in people whose transmission route is considered to be heterosexual sex.



A group of symptoms and diseases that together are characteristic of a specific condition. AIDS is the characteristic syndrome of HIV.


Two thirds of AIDS cases have been reported in people aged between 25 and 39, and the average age at the time of diagnosis has increased from less than 30 years in 1998 to 38.7 years in 2001.

In the UK, 666 AIDS cases were reported in 2001, a fall from 793 in 2000. Incidence rates also fell here: from 13.3 per million in 2000 to 11.3 per million in 2001.

These data are available in German, Englsh and French at the Eurostat website.