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Home > Countries & Regions > Western Europe
Updated June 2011
Regional Overview
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Epidemiology and Trends
Health and Development Profiles
Guidelines and Best Practices
Policy Reports and Papers
Surveys and Assessments
International Organizations
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
Comprehensive Indicator Report
Focus on Care and Treatment
Country Profiles
HIV/AIDS in Western Europe
Population, 2013740,000,000
People living with HIV/AIDS, 2012860,000
Women (aged 15+) with HIV/AIDS, 2012210,000
Children with HIV/AIDS, 20121,100
Adult HIV prevalence (%), 20120.2
AIDS deaths, 20127,600
nd = No data
Source: Population Reference Bureau & UNAIDS
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Regional Overview

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

Epidemiology and Trends

The total number of people living with HIV in Western and Central Europe continues to grow. Unprotected sex between men continues to dominate patterns of HIV transmission in Western and Central Europe, although injecting drug use and unprotected paid sex also feature (especially in parts of southern Europe). In France, for example, men who have sex with men account for more than half the men newly diagnosed with HIV, yet they represent only 1.6% of the country's population. This epidemic pattern means that men outnumber women among people living with HIV. In 2009, women comprised 29% of those living with HIV in Western and Central Europe.

There is strong evidence of resurgent HIV epidemics among men who have sex with men in Western Europe. Data from 23 European countries show that the annual number of HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men rose by 86% between 2000 and 2006. The 3,160 new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men in 2007 in the United Kingdom were the most ever reported up to that point. National surveillance data also show significant increases in new HIV diagnoses between 2000 and 2005 among men who have sex with men in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. Increases in higher-risk sexual behaviour are associated with this trend. Researchers in Catalonia (Spain), for example, have reported that one third (32%) of men who have sex with men had recently had unprotected anal sex with a casual partner, and surveys in Denmark and Amsterdam (the Netherlands) have reported similar findings.

The HIV epidemics are disproportionately concentrated in racial and ethnic minorities in some countries. Rates of new infections among people who inject drugs have been falling overall-largely due to harm-reduction services. In the Netherlands and Switzerland, for example, HIV infections due to 'social' drug using - several people using the same contaminated injecting equipment - have almost been eliminated: at most 5% of new infections (in 2008 and 2007, respectively) were attributable to injecting drug use.

Health and Development Profiles
AIDS Epidemic Update Regional Summary - North America, Western and Central Europe
UNAIDS, April 16, 2008. [PDF, 228K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Fact Sheet: AIDS Epidemic in North America, Western and Central Europe
UNAIDS, December 2006. [PDF, 43K] Also in Spanish, French, and Russian.
Guidelines and Best Practices
HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care: Clinical Protocols for the WHO European Region
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, 2007. [PDF, 6.35MB]
Policy Reports and Papers
Scaling up HIV testing and counseling in the WHO European Region as an Essential Component of Efforts to Achieve Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support
World Health Organization, 2010. [197K]
HIV/AIDS in Europe: Moving from Death Sentence to Chronic Disease Management
World Health Organization, January 2006. [PDF, 2.2MB]
Criminalisation of HIV Transmission in Europe: A Rapid Scan of the Laws and Rates of Prosecution for HIV Transmission within Signatory States of the European Convention of Human Rights
Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS Europe, Terrence Higgins Trust, April 2005. [PDF, 402K]
Strategic Framework for the Prevention of HIV Infection in Infants in Europe
World Health Organization, 2004. [PDF, 357K]
Surveys and Assessments
HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Europe 2011
WHO/Europe and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). November 30, 2012. [PDF, 5.22MB]
International Organizations
World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe
European Commission in Public Health
HIV/AIDS Web Sites
French health network that supports people with HIV/AIDS.
Funded by the National AIDS Manual in collaboration with the British HIV Association. Includes online database of AIDS service agencies searchable by country, town, or name of organization, and by language (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese).
UK-based AIDS education and research site.
AIDS Action Europe
The Pan European NGO Partnership on HIV and AIDS. Web site in English and Russian.
European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG).
A group of activists from 23 European countries who participate in treatment activism, community-based research, and treatment training programs. EATG publishes a bimonthly bulletin, European AIDS Treatment News.
European Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS
WHO-UNAIDS Collaborating Centre. Also in French.
Institute of Tropical Medicine
Based in Antwerp, Belgium; houses an STD/HIV research and intervention unit and participates in international microbicide clinical trials.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Works with media and other information actors to enable developing countries to shape and communicate their own development agendas through informed public debate; particular focus on amplifying the voices of the poor and marginalized. Numerous HIV/AIDS-related activities and publications.
Terrence Higgins Trust
Leading HIV/AIDS charity in the U.K. and the largest in Europe. Works with, inter alia, U.K. African communities.
University of Sussex, Institute of Development Studies
Research programs include health, poverty, participation, and globalization.