London — The number of people newly diagnosed with HIV in Europe reached its highest level in 2016 since records began, showing the region’s epidemic growing "at an alarming pace", health officials said on Tuesday. Last year, 160,000 people contracted the virus that causes AIDS in the 53 countries that make up the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) European region, it said in a joint report with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Around 80% of those were in eastern Europe, the report found. "This is the highest number of cases recorded in one year. If this trend persists, we will not be able to achieve the... target of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030," WHO European regional director Zsuzsanna Jakab said in a statement. The trend was particularly worrying because many patients had already been carrying the HIV infection for several years by the time they were diagnosed, making the virus harder to control and more likely to have been passed on to others, the...

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