AIDS 2014The recent recession in Europe and expanding income inequality have been linked to increased rates of HIV among injection drug users (IDUs) in the region, aidsmap reports. Results from the study of data from 30 European countries, which included national statistics from 2003 to 2012, were presented at the 20th International Conference on AIDS (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia.

The analysis used what are known as “lagged values,” which consider that economic shifts may not impact HIV incidence until one to three years have passed. In this case, the researchers assumed a two-year lag.

The investigators found that nations that had continued growth in their gross domestic product (GDP) were 35 percent less likely to experience rises in HIV diagnoses among IDUs. Those nations with higher income inequality were 49 percent more likely to have greater numbers of HIV diagnoses among this population.

The researchers concluded that governments should consider that fighting HIV among IDUs can be aided through economic policies that fuel growth as well as more equitable income distribution.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the conference abstract, click here.