The development of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in Europe is following the same course as it did in the US but is delayed by about 3 years. If this time is used properly, it may be possible to stop the epidemic at an early stage. The special epidemiology of the disease, the long incubation period, prejudice, and taboo concerning sexuality have constrained constructive and open debate on strategies and approaches. By mid-1986, 21,302 AIDS cases had been registered in the US for a prevalence rate of 88/million and 11.654 deaths had resulted. In Europe, 2,542 AIDS cases had been registered by mid-1986 for a prevalence rate varying between 0 and 17.4/million in various countries. Of the total number, 67% were homosexual or bisexual men, 10% misusers of needles, 4% hemophiliacs, and 2% transfusion related. In Norway in mid-1986, 25 persons had contracted AIDS for a prevalence rate of 6.0/million; 20 of these are dead. Over 70% of those contracting AIDS die within 2 years, for a cumulative lethality in the US and Europe as a whole slightly 50%. 20 of the Norwegian AIDS patients belonged to the homo/bisexual male risk group; 1 was a hemophiliac; 1 a blood recipient; 1 an injection misuser; and 1 was heterosexually infected. Average survival from time of diagnosis was about 6 months. Over 300 persons in Norway have been found human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody positive and the actual number of infected is calculated at 2,500. By the mid-1990s AIDS may become the most common cause of death in Norway.
The anonymous survey of the population for the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) carried out in Moscow in 1987 revealed 4 seropositive persons among 10, 117 persons subjected to examination. These 4 persons belonged to typical risk groups with respect to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The questioning of the persons coming for examination made it possible to find out that a large percentage of them really had a risk of contacting HIV infection; besides, a considerable proportion of the visitors proved to have signs of AIDS phobia.