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Home > Countries and Regions > Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Updated June 2011
Regional Overview
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Epidemiology and Trends
Health and Development Profiles
Guidelines and Best Practices
Surveys and Assessments
Policy Reports and Papers
International Organizations
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
News Sources and Periodicals
Comprehensive Indicator Report
Focus on Care and Treatment
Country Profiles
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic
Republic of Moldova
Russian Federation
HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Population, 2013361,000,000
People living with HIV/AIDS, 20121,300,000
Women (aged 15+) with HIV/AIDS, 2012430,000
Children with HIV/AIDS, 201219,000
Adult HIV prevalence (%), 20120.7
AIDS deaths, 201291,000
nd = No data
Source: Population Reference Bureau & UNAIDS
Eastern Europe and Central Asia Map
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Regional Overview

Abstracted from the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, UNAIDS, November 2010..

Epidemiology and Trends

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the number of people living with HIV has almost tripled since 2000 and reached an estimated total of 1.4 million [1.3 million-1.6 million] in 2009 compared with 760,000 [670,000-890,000] in 2001. A rapid rise in HIV infections among people who inject drugs at the turn of the century caused the epidemic in this region to surge. Overall, the HIV prevalence is 1% or higher in two countries in this region, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which together account for almost 90% of newly reported HIV diagnoses. At 1.1% [1.0%-1.3%], the adult HIV prevalence in Ukraine is higher than in any other country in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Annual HIV diagnoses in Ukraine have more than doubled since 2001. The HIV epidemic in the Russian Federation also continues to grow, but at a slower pace than in the late 1990s. Newly reported HIV cases have increased in several of the countries in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, which has the largest epidemic in Central Asia.

The HIV epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are concentrated mainly among people who inject drugs, sex workers, their sexual partners and, to a much lesser extent, men who have sex with men. An estimated one quarter of the 3.7 million people (most of whom are men) who inject drugs in the region are living with HIV. In the Russian Federation, more than one third (37%) of the country's estimated 1.8 million people who inject drugs are believed to be living with HIV, compared with between 39% and 50% in Ukraine. Surveys among people who inject drugs in 2007 found HIV prevalence as high as 88% (in the city of Kryvyi Rih). High HIV prevalence has also been found in prison populations, especially among incarcerated people who inject drugs. The interplay between sex work and injecting drug use is accelerating the spread of HIV in the region. At least 30% of sex workers in the Russian Federation, for example, have injected drugs, and the high HIV infection levels found among sex workers in Ukraine (14% to 31% in various studies) are almost certainly due to the overlap of paid sex with injecting drug use.

As the epidemic spreads from (predominantly male) people who inject drugs to their sexual partners, the proportion of women living with HIV is also growing. By 2009, an estimated 45% of the people living with HIV in Ukraine were women, compared with 41% in 2004 and 37% in 1999. Different people using the same contaminated injecting equipment within a short time frame remains a core driver of these epidemics. An estimated 35% of women living with HIV probably acquired HIV through injecting drug use, while an additional 50% were probably infected by partners who inject drugs.

Unprotected sex between men is responsible for a small share of new infections in the region - less than 1% of people newly diagnosed with HIV infection for whom the route of transmission was identified. Nevertheless, official data may underplay the actual extent of infection in this highly stigmatized population. In small surveys, the HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men has ranged from zero in Belarus, Lithuania and parts of Central Asia to 5% in Georgia, 6% in the Russian Federation and between 4% (in Kyiv) and 23% (in Odessa) in Ukraine.

Health and Development Profiles
AIDS Epidemic Update Regional Summary - Eastern Europe and Central Asia
UNAIDS, April 16, 2008. [PDF, 249K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Guidelines and Best Practices
HIV/AIDS Protocols on Treatment and Care
Treatment and care protocols for the European Region. World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, 2007.
Practical Steps to Strengthening HIV/AIDS Surveillance in the Europe and Eurasia Region: A Field Guide
USAID, January 2005. [PDF, 308K]
Commercial Sex Worker, Harm Reduction Initiative Project Directory: A Guide to Contacts and Services in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
Open Society Initiative, International Harm Reduction Development, June 2001. [PDF, 199K]
Guidelines for the Clinical Management and Treatment of HIV-Infected Adults in Europe
European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS), November 2012. [PDF, 6.36MB]
European Recommendations for the Clinical Use of HIV Drug Resistance Testing: 2011 Update
European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS); 2011. [PDF, 802K]
Surveys and Assessments
Assessment of HIV/AIDS Surveillance in the Europe and Eurasia Region
USAID, January 2005. [PDF, 954K]
Policy Reports and Papers
Living with HIV in Eastern Europe and the CIS: The Human Cost of Social Exclusion
Regional Human Development Report on AIDS online in English and Russian. UNDP, UNAIDS, 2008.
Blood Services in Central Asian Health Systems
A clear and present danger of spreading HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. Patricio V. Marquez, World Bank, June 2008.
Sex Work, HIV/AIDS, and Human Rights in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Central and Eastern European Harm Reduction Network, December 2005.
The Next Wave: The Emerging HIV Epidemics of Eurasia
Christopher Beyrer, John Hopkins University, July 2005. Presented at the 3rd IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, July 24-27, 2005. [PDF, 2.9MB]
Reversing the Tide: Priorities for HIV/AIDS Prevention in Central Asia
Joana Godinho, Adrian Renton, Viatcheslav Vinogradov, Thomas Novotny, George Gotsadze , Mary-Jane Rivers, Mario Bravo. World Bank, November 2004.
Strategic Framework for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Infants in Europe
World Health Organization, 2004. [PDF, 244K]
HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Reversing the Epidemic--Facts and Policy Options
United Nations Development Programme, 2004. Also in Russian.
Youth in Central Asia: Losing the New Generation
International Crisis Group, October 31, 2003.
International Organizations
International Harm Reduction Development (IHRD) Program
Organization aims to reduce the risk of drug-related HIV/AIDS infection by supporting regional and local initiatives in over 20 countries. Site links to project descriptions and related publications.
Western Balkans Programme to Fight HIV/AIDS
Provides education and training to fight HIV/AIDS in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, TFYR Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro.
World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
Asia Foundation East-West
An international, nongovernmental, public health organization that provides HIV/AIDS prevention and care services in the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union. Site features HIV/AIDS statistics.
Central and Eastern European Harm Reduction Network
The Network develops, supports, and evaluates the effectiveness of harm reduction programs in the region, and advocates for the human rights of drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS.
EurasiaHealth AIDS Knowledge Network Library
Key materials related to the care and treatment of HIV/AIDS in Eurasia. Includes resources in several Eastern European languages.
European Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS
WHO-UNAIDS Collaborating Centre. Also in French.
Regional Knowledge Hub for the Care and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in Eurasia
Works to strengthen the capacity of Eurasian healthcare professionals and policymakers to provide treatment and care to those living with HIV/AIDS. Site offers online training modules, treatment protocols, networking tools, and additional relevant HIV/AIDS-related treatment and care materials in English, Russian, and other regional languages.
Therapeutics, Research, Education, AIDS Training (TREAT) Asia
A new amfAR initiative to strengthen HIV/AIDS care, treatment, and management skills among health care professionals.
Youth Peer
Web site aimed at supporting the development of youth peer education in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, on topics related to adolescent health and well-being. Features resources on sexual health and HIV/AIDS.
News Sources and Periodicals
Includes articles on health issues in Central Asia.
Transitions Online
News coverage of 28 post-communist countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.