Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Commission Launches Awareness-Raising Campaign on Aids

Magazine article European Social Policy

Public Health : Commission Launches Awareness-Raising Campaign on Aids

Article excerpt

In response to an upsurge in new cases of AIDS in the European Union, the European Commission has launched an awareness-raising campaign culminating in a Night of HIV/AIDS TV Commercials at the Kinepolis cinema complex in Brussels on 30 November, the eve of World AIDS Day. The aim is to encourage the public to view and vote for the best clip from a selection of HIV/AIDS awareness commercials produced by EU member states1 . The EU executive also commented on 15 November on the results of a recent Eurobarometer survey which highlights widespread ignorance regarding transmission of the virus and the persistence of high-risk behaviour in the EU. 'Around 45% of respondents think it is possible to be infected by sharing glasses or toilet seats with, donating blood to or taking care of HIV-positive or AIDS patients,' according to the Eurobarometer survey. 'Only about half the population claims to have adapted its behaviour by taking precautions,' according to a statement.

A total of 23,620 newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection were reported in the European Union in 2005. Two EU countries reported rates of more than 200 new HIV diagnoses per million of the population in 2005 (Estonia 467/million and Portugal 251/million). Among the 22 EU countries with consistent reporting of HIV, there has been nearly a doubling in the number of reported cases since 1998, from 9,264 in 1998 to 17,043 in 2005. At the EU's frontiers, in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, HIV infection figures are also rising. …

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