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Epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases in Eastern Europe. Report of a WHO meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark, 13-15 May 1996.
Copenhagen, Denmark, WHO, Regional Office for Europe, 1996. , 14 p. (EUR/ICP/CMDS 08 01 01)In response to the alarming rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the newly independent states, the WHO Regional Office for Europe, WHO headquarters and the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS organized a meeting of experts from the most affected countries to exchange information and to identify priority actions for the control of the epidemic. The participants included 15 experts from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The participants called for urgent action, including a careful assessment of the existing systems for STD control, reallocation of resources among the various activity areas and strong advocacy to generate awareness at the top level of government and strengthen its support for the recommended initiatives. They also urged that national coordination of programmes to promote sexual health and prevent STDs and HIV be strengthened, that statutory services be made more accessible and acceptable to patients and that efforts be made to ensure that all health workers managing patients with STDs, including those in the private sector, provide high-quality care. (author's)
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 1986 Jan 24; 35(3):35-46.As of September 30, 1985, 1573 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) had been reported by the 21 European countries that are participants in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Collaborating Center on AIDS. An average increase of 27 new cases/week has been noted. Of the total cases, there have been 792 deaths, for a case-fatality rate of 50%. The greatest increases in numbers of AIDS cases have occurred in the Federal Republic of Germany, France, the UK, and Italy. The highest rates exist in Switzerland (11.8), Denmark (11.2), and France (8.5). 65% of European AIDS patients have 1 or more opportunistic infection. 20% had Kaposi's sarcoma, alone, and 13% had opportunistic infections with Kaposi's sarcoma. 92% of cases have involved males, and 42% fall into the 30-39-year age group. Of the 1330 (85%) cases involving Europeans, 78% were homosexual or bisexual men, 70% were intravenous drug abusers, and 2% had both these risk factors. Africans have contributed 10% of European AIDS cases. A questionnaire on public health measures related to blood transfusion found that systematic screening of blood donors for lymphadenopathy-associated virus/human T-lymphotropic virus type III (LAV/HTLV-III) antibodies became effective in 16 of the 21 European countries between June-November 1985. Screening is compulsory in 13 countries. The test used is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Portugal is the only country to have organized a national register of seropositive blood donors, although Norway is considering such a register. Methods to exclude donors at risk have been taken in all the countries except Czechoslovakia, Finland, and Portugal. Although male homosexuals account for 69% of reported AIDS cases in Europe, there has been an increase in cases among intavenous drug abusers from 2% of the total in July 1984 to 8% in September 1985. Over 40% of AIDS cases in Italy and Spain occurred in this group. Moreover, several studies carried out in 1985 showed a high frequency (20-50%) of serologic markers of LAV/HTLV-III infection in intravenous drug abusers.
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 1985 Sep 27; 34(38):583-9.As of June 30, 1985, 1226 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) had been reported by the 18 countries participating in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Collaborating Center on AIDS. 285 new cases were reported by the 17 countries that were corresponding with the Center on March 31, 1985, for an average increase of 22 new cases/week. The greatest increases in numbers of cases were observed in France, Federal Republic of Germany, and the United Kingdom. The highest rates of AIDS cases/millon population in 1985 occurred in Switzerland (9.7), Denmark (9.4), and France (7.0). A total of 626 deaths were reported for the 1226 AIDS cases, yielding a case-fatality rate of 5.1%. 795 (65%) of cases presented with at least 1 opportunistic infection. 245 (20%) had Kaposi's sarcoma alone and 171 (14%) had opportunistic infections with Kaposi's sarcoma. Males accounted for 91% of cases, and 42% occurred in the 30-39-year age group. 29 cases involving children under 15 years of age have been reported. 82% of total cases in Europe have involved Europeans, 3% have involved Caribbeans, and 12% have involved Africans. Of the European patients, 80% were homosexual or bisexual, 5% were intravenous drug abusers, and 1% were from both risk groups. AIDS patients belonging to the male homosexual risk group comprise 60-100% of the total number of AIDS cases in 11 of 15 European countries, but less than 50% of cases in Belgium, Greece, Italy, and Spain. Patients not belonging to any identified risk group contribute the 2nd largest number of cases. 9 countries have reported cases among intravenous drug abusers, 9 have reported AIDS in hemophilia patients, and 5 have reported cases among blood transusion recipients. 3 patterns have been noted: 1) in northern Europe (Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden), most cases occur among male homosexuals; 2) in certain countries in southern Europe (Italy, Spain), most cases occur among those with no identifiable risk factor, but intravenous drug abusers seem to be more affected than in other countries; and 3) in Belgium, most cases occur among patients from central Africa.