Miriam Dalli on Fighting Rising HIV, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis Epidemics in Europe

05/07/2017
Miriam Dalli on Fighting Rising HIV, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis Epidemics in Europe
Environment, health, agriculture & fisheries

Today, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to come up with a plan to tackle the rise of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis epidemics in Europe.

05/07/2017

Today, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to come up with a plan to tackle the rise of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis epidemics in Europe. For over a year, the S&D Group has been pushing the Parliament to act on these significant and seriously underestimated health threats. As the EU Action Plan on HIV/AIDS expired at the end of 2016, a new comprehensive EU strategy on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis, including prevention and giving patients access to better treatments, urgently needs to be put in place.

Claudiu-Ciprian Tănăsescu, MEP and S&D rapporteur on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis epidemics in Europe, said:

“HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis are the three major cross-border threats to public health in the European region. In 2015, almost 30.000 new HIV infections were reported. Around 400 people die every day from viral hepatitis and related causes. Tuberculosis is re-emerging as one of the gravest threats to global health but remains seriously underestimated. As the EU Action Plan on HIV/AIDS expired at the end of 2016 we call on the Commission to put forward a new comprehensive EU strategy to fight these serious epidemics.”

Miriam Dalli, MEP and S&D spokesperson for the environment, public health and food safety, added:

“HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis often affect vulnerable and overlapping populations. Still today, people infected by HIV, tuberculosis or hepatitis face discrimination and stigmatization. This is not only a tragedy for the people affected; stigmatization also contributes to the spread of these epidemics. The percentage of young people among new infections is shockingly high. We have the duty to break the taboos surrounding infectious diseases, step up prevention and ensure that patients get access to innovative and affordable treatments.”