VILNIUS – Lithuania matches the European Union (EU) average in terms of the number of new HIV infections, but ranks last in Europe in terms of the mortality rate from HIV-related diseases, the LRT Radio has reported.
Professor Raimonda Matulionyte, an infectious disease specialist, says that the biggest problem in Lithuania is that a significant proportion of people diagnosed with HIV do not seek specialist care and treatment.
"Less than half of the patients ever diagnosed with HIV in Lithuania visit a medical facility, according to official statistics. This is actually a very bad indicator, ... the worst in the European region," she said.
The Demetra association, which cares for people living with HIV and AIDS in Lithuania and their relatives, has already carried out almost 8,000 HIV tests this year and plans to bring this figure to more than 15,000 by the end of the year.
According to UNAIDS and the Center for Communicable Diseases and AIDS, nearly 4,000 HIV-positive people were registered in Lithuania by November 2022. The virus causes AIDS, a disease that claims around 100 lives every year.