People living with HIV in Estonia: engagement in HIV care in 2013

Euro Surveill. 2016 Oct 27;21(43):30380. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.43.30380.


Estonia had the highest rate of newly diagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases in the European Union (24.6/100,000) and an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.3% in 2013. HIV medical care, including antiretroviral therapy (ART), is free of charge for people living with HIV (PLHIV). To maximise the health benefits of HIV treatment, universal access should be achieved. Using data from surveillance and administrative databases and the treatment cascade model, we assessed the number of people infected with HIV, diagnosed with HIV, linked to HIV care, retained in HIV care, on ART, and with suppressed viral load (HIV-RNA: < 200 copies/mL). We identified that about one quarter of the 8,628 HIV-positive people estimated to live in Estonia in 2013 had not been diagnosed with HIV, and another quarter, although aware of their HIV-positive serostatus, had not accessed HIV medical care. Although altogether only 12-15% of all PLHIV in Estonia had achieved viral suppression, the main gap in HIV care in Estonia were the 58% of PLHIV who had accessed HIV medical care at least once after diagnosis but were not retained in care in 2013.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; continuum of care; human immunodeficiency virus; treatment cascade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Estonia / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Viral Load / drug effects
  • Viral Load / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-HIV Agents