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HIV/AIDS: only one solution: get tested! Françoise Grossetête MEP and Richard Seeber MEP


01 Dec 2011


Health & Consumers

On the occasion of World AIDS Day today, Françoise Grossetête MEP has drafted a Resolution that was co-signed by representatives from other political groups in the European Parliament. The text was adopted by a large majority today in plenary.

The European Commission had adopted an Action Plan for combating HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries for the period 2009-2013. The strategy defines certain priorities such as improving access to prevention, treatment, care and support and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS.

The EPP Group Coordinator in the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Richard Seeber MEP, who contributed to the Resolution, voiced his concern: "The statistics are still alarming! Despite the intense efforts over the last years, we have not managed to decrease the number of new infections in the Member States. We really must push forward now with preventive measures and inform people about the risks of infection. The Resolution adopted today calls on the Commission to act now."

Françoise Grossetête MEP, who took the floor during the debate, said: "As we are approaching the mid-term review of the European Commission's Action Plan, it is necessary to have an overview of the progress made by the Member States and their neighbouring countries. 50,000 new cases of the HIV infection are being diagnosed in the EU and its neighbouring countries every year.

In the European Union, nearly 30% of HIV-positive people do not know that they are infected and this proportion reaches 70% in some neighbouring countries. This is a serious problem for political leaders. Half of the people who are infected with AIDS are still receiving treatment very late. They reach advanced stages of infection before being diagnosed and starting their treatment.

Moreover, it has been recently proven that a person infected with AIDS who takes retroviral medicines after being diagnosed with the virus, and not only after his/her health starts declining, can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to non-infected partners by 96%."

The European Union must maintain its commitment in order to guarantee that the progress and the investments already made do not disappear.

For further information:

Françoise GROSSETÊTE MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845952

Richard SEEBER MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845468

Marion Jeanne, EPP Group Press & communications service, Tel: +32-479-840293

Daniel Köster, EPP Group Press & communications service, Tel: +32-487-384784

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 264 Members.