In fact, sex between men is the main mode of HIV transmission in Europe. In 2015, 42% of all newly diagnosed HIV cases in the EU/EEA were in men who have sex with men (MSM). In 15 european countries – Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom – sex between men accounted for more than 50% of all known new HIV diagnoses in 2015 (Figure 1).
HIV testing rates among men who have sex with men remain low. In 20 of 33 countries that reported data across the region, under half of MSM had been tested for HIV within the last 12 months.
More than one-third of HIV cases in men who have sex with men are diagnosed late.
Many countries report barriers to provision and uptake of HIV testing services for MSM. The main barriers to increasing the uptake of HIV testing among MSM are stigma and discrimination within the MSM population (29 countries) and among health professionals (22 countries), and limited availability of community-based testing services (24 countries)
The continuing increase in new HIV diagnoses among MSM in Europe and Central Asia, highlights the need for urgent action to improve the coverage, targeting and impact of HIV prevention and testing programmes. In particular, greater efforts are needed to reach MSM who are most vulnerable to HIV, including MSM who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour and sexualised drug use, and migrant MSM.
Source : ECDC, Special report, HIV and men who have sex with men Monitoring implementation of the Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia: 2017 progress report