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Europe

Europe Facing AIDS Epidemic

Twice as many new AIDS cases have been reported since 1995 and European Union member states aren't giving the disease the attention it deserves, a commissioner said.

Europe's AIDS problem is worsening as the rates of new infections in some new member states are the highest in the world, the European Commission warned Wednesday. The epidemic, however, is not only confined to the EU's new members. The proportion of newly reported HIV cases has also doubled in Western Europe since 1995. Greater efforts are needed to prevent the spread of the disease, and EU member states and neighboring countries need to give HIV/AIDS "the attention it deserves" by providing affordable treatment and developing national and international strategies to help prevent the disease's spread, declared David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection. Later this month health ministers and experts across the EU and its eastern neighbors will gather in Lithuania to build a consensus on Europe-wide actions to combat the disease. (EUobserver.com)

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