HIV care in Central and Eastern Europe: how close are we to the target?

Gokengin, Deniz and Oprea, Cristiana and Begovac, Josip and Horban, Andrzej and Zeka, Arzu Nazli and Sedlacek, Dalibor and Allabergan, Bayjanov and Almamedova, Esmira A. and Balayan, Tatevik and Banhegyi, Denes and Bukovinova, Pavlina and Chkhartishvili, Nikoloz and Damira, Alymbaeva and Deva, Edona and Elenkov, Ivaylo and Gashi, Luljeta and Gexha-Bunjaku, Dafina and Hadciosmanovic, Vesna and Harxhi, Arjan and Holban, Tiberiu and Jevtovic, Djorje and Jilich, David and Kowalska, Justyna and Kuvatova, Djhamal and Ladnaia, Natalya and Mamatkulov, Adkhamjon and Marjanovic, Aleksandra and Nikolova, Maria and Poljak, Mario and Rüütel, Kristi and Shunnar, Azzaden and Stevanovic, Milena and Trumova, Zhanna and Yurin, Oleg (2018) HIV care in Central and Eastern Europe: how close are we to the target? International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 70. pp. 121-130. ISSN 1201-9712

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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this survey was to describe the current status of HIV care in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and to investigate how close the region is to achieving the UNAIDS 2020 target of 90-90-90. ----- METHODS: In 2014, data were collected from 24 Central and Eastern European countries using a 38-item questionnaire. ----- RESULTS: All countries reported mandatory screening of blood and organ donors for HIV. Other groups subjected to targeted screening included people who inject drugs (PWID) (15/24, 62.5%), men who have sex with men (MSM) (14/24, 58.3%), and sex workers (12/24, 50.0%). Only 14 of the 24 countries (58.3%) screened pregnant women. The percentages of late presentation and advanced disease were 40.3% (range 14-80%) and 25.4% (range 9-50%), respectively. There was no difference between countries categorized by income or by region in terms of the percentages of persons presenting late or with advanced disease. The availability of newer antiretroviral drugs (rilpivirine, etravirine, darunavir, maraviroc, raltegravir, dolutegravir) tended to be significantly better with a higher country income status. Ten countries reported initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) regardless of CD4+ T cell count (41.7%), five countries (20.8%) used the threshold of <500 cells/μl, and nine countries (37.5%) used the threshold of <350cells/μl. Initiation of ART regardless of the CD4+ T cell count was significantly more common among high-income countries than among upper-middle-income and lower-middle-income countries (100% vs. 27.3% and 0%, respectively; p=0.001). Drugs were provided free of charge in all countries and mostly provided by governments. There were significant discrepancies between countries regarding the follow-up of people living with HIV. ----- CONCLUSIONS: There are major disparities in the provision of HIV care among sub-regions in Europe, which should be addressed. More attention in terms of funding, knowledge and experience sharing, and capacity building is required for the resource-limited settings of Central and Eastern Europe. The exact needs should be defined and services scaled up in order to achieve a standard level of care and provide an adequate and sustainable response to the HIV epidemic in this region.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of International Society for Infectious Diseases. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
MeSH: CD4 Lymphocyte Count ; Europe/epidemiology ; HIV Infections/drug therapy ; HIV Infections/epidemiology ; HIV Infections/immunology ; HIV Infections/virology ; Humans ; RNA, Viral/analysis
Departments: Katedra za infektologiju
Depositing User: Kristina Berketa
Status: Published
Gokengin, DenizUNSPECIFIED
Oprea, CristianaUNSPECIFIED
Horban, AndrzejUNSPECIFIED
Sedlacek, DaliborUNSPECIFIED
Allabergan, BayjanovUNSPECIFIED
Almamedova, Esmira A.UNSPECIFIED
Balayan, TatevikUNSPECIFIED
Banhegyi, DenesUNSPECIFIED
Bukovinova, PavlinaUNSPECIFIED
Chkhartishvili, NikolozUNSPECIFIED
Damira, AlymbaevaUNSPECIFIED
Elenkov, IvayloUNSPECIFIED
Gexha-Bunjaku, DafinaUNSPECIFIED
Hadciosmanovic, VesnaUNSPECIFIED
Holban, TiberiuUNSPECIFIED
Jevtovic, DjorjeUNSPECIFIED
Kowalska, JustynaUNSPECIFIED
Kuvatova, DjhamalUNSPECIFIED
Ladnaia, NatalyaUNSPECIFIED
Mamatkulov, AdkhamjonUNSPECIFIED
Marjanovic, AleksandraUNSPECIFIED
Nikolova, MariaUNSPECIFIED
Shunnar, AzzadenUNSPECIFIED
Stevanovic, MilenaUNSPECIFIED
Trumova, ZhannaUNSPECIFIED
Date: May 2018
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 07:36
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2020 07:35
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