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ECDC report: Sexual transmission of HIV within migrant groups in the EU/EEA and implications for effective interventions

26 Aug 2013
​This report presents the published evidence of sexual transmission of HIV among populations from countries with generalised HIV epidemics in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA). The implications of this evidence are summarised and recommendations provided for those Member States that wish to improve their surveillance systems in order to assess the sexual transmission of HIV in their at-risk migrant populations.
In a systematic review of the literature, the report examines the evidence for sexual transmission of HIV among persons from countries with generalised HIV epidemics after they have arrived in Europe. Additionally, a survey of EU/EEA Member States on the subject of sexual transmission of HIV in populations of migrants was conducted. 
Given the evidence for ongoing HIV transmission among at-risk migrant groups in some countries of the EU/EEA, the report considers the following actions to address current limitations in HIV surveillance and prevention interventions:
- Policy makers and programme implementers in those countries that identify migrants as important to their HIV epidemic need to:
  • be aware that transmission among migrants may be taking place in their countries;
  • consider which surveillance variables to collect and analyse in order to better understand and monitor the degree to which sexual transmission of HIV occurs among migrant populations;
  • consider developing an evidence-based, long-term strategic policy to reduce post-migration HIV-acquisition and transmission;
  • direct additional attention and resources to improve primary prevention programmes targeted to the specific needs of migrants, and
  • involve affected migrant communities in developing and delivering migrant-sensitive HIV prevention services.
- As migrant MSM are at particular risk of HIV acquisition and transmission after migrating to the EU/EEA, policies and programmes should be considered that place specific emphasis on this.
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