Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 168–176 | Cite as

The HIV Epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

  • Jack DeHovitz
  • Anneli Uuskula
  • Nabila El-Bassel
The Global Epidemic (S Vermund, Section Editor)


Eastern Europe and Central Asia represent one of the few regions globally where there is a continued increase in the incidence of HIV infection. For example, in Eastern Europe the rate of diagnosed cases of HIV infection per 100 000 population has increased from 11.7 in 2004 to 22.5 in 2011. Initially propelled by injection drug use, heterosexual transmission has now become a major driver of new infections in the region. Nonetheless substance use remains an important factor, with its control limited by challenges in scaling up harm reduction efforts. While most countries have implemented opioid substitution therapy programs, their scale remains very limited. Similarly, coverage of needles syringe programs across the region is variable. Complicating the control of HIV has been the emergence of non-injection drugs and inadequate access to antiretroviral therapy. In addition, structural barriers and stigma toward HIV infected people may contribute to the high proportion of late presentations for HIV care. Finally in the wake of the HIV epidemic, high rates of hepatitis C infection and tuberculosis have been noted.


Eastern Europe Central Asia HIV HIV infection HIV infection in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Heterosexual transmission Injection drug use Substance use Needles syringe Needles syringe programs Antiretroviral therapy Global epidemic 



Dr. DeHovitz acknowledges partial support from grant from Fogarty International Center and National Institute of Drug Abuse, (D43 TW000233). Dr. El-Bassel acknowledges the partial support received from a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (R01DA033168).

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Jack DeHovitz, Anneli Uuskula, and Nabila El-Bassel declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack DeHovitz
    • 1
  • Anneli Uuskula
    • 2
  • Nabila El-Bassel
    • 3
  1. 1.SUNY Downstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Columbia University School of Social WorkNew YorkUSA

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