The First European HIV Index Calls for Leadership and Radical Improvement; Luxembourg Is European Champion

HIV infection keeps growing in Europe. In order to improve care and conditions for people living with HIV/AIDS but also to prevent further spread of the disease, there is urgent need of reviewing and radically improving disease management in HIV/AIDS. Such change should include legal aspects, HIV care and social conditions. This was advocated by the Euro HIV Index (EHIVI) 2009, which was presented today in Brussels. Luxembourg leads the ranking among European 29 countries in this first survey of HIV policy and best practice, with 857 points (out of 1,000), followed by Malta (791) and Switzerland (775).

The Euro HIV Index Director, Dr. Beatriz Cebolla, comments on the results: "While the number of People Living With HIV (PLWH) increases in every member state of the EU, budgets in several countries are reduced. Sexual risk behaviour is becoming more and more regular practice. Criminalization of HIV is a problem in many countries, and still HIV-specific legislation exists in some countries; people can get prosecuted also for unintentionally and unknowingly transmitting the virus. The access to care for marginalized groups such as undocumented migrants is not guaranteed almost anywhere in Europe. Discrimination and stigma against PLWH is frequent at work and in schools. Harm reduction strategies in prisons are still weakly implemented, especially in the Eastern European countries."

Johan Hjertqvist, President of Health Consumer Powerhouse, commented: "There is a general lack of leadership in HIV management. Alarmingly enough, no government seems to know the true number of HIV-infected inhabitants. The main conclusion of this very first HIV Index is that there is still a lot to do."

Euro HIV Index 2009 at a Glance

7Slovakia17Czech Republic27Italy

Index Performance Criteria

The EHIVI ranks the HIV situation across 28 indicators, covering 4 sub-disciplines that are key to HIV: Involvement and rights, Access, Prevention, and Outcomes. Each sub-discipline is weighted for importance in contribution to the overall Index score. The individual subdiscipline leaders were as follows:

  • Involvement and rights: Luxembourg
  • Access: Luxembourg
  • Prevention: Switzerland
  • Outcomes: Malta

About the Index

The Index is part of the Swedish EU presidency of autumn 2009. It has received an unrestricted educational grant by Gilead Research.