Estonia is currently leading Europe in number of HIV diagnoses with 9,492 cases as of Dec. 30, however one Estonian daily reports that in reality, there may actually be nearly 1,500 fewer unique case than that.
Daily Postimees (link in Estonian) reported on Tuesday that a total of 20-30 percent more diagnoses may have been accounted for due to double registration which occurred until 2009.
According to the paper’s information, the possible error in actual figures is rooted in the fact that until 2009, all anonymously identified positive cases of HIV were reflected in official statistics, meaning that if an anonymously tested patient went to the doctor following a positive diagnosis, their case may have been registered twice — once without identifying information and a second time with name and personal identification code.
Thus it cannot be ruled out that during the height of Estonia’s HIV epidemic in the early 2000s, when the number of new HIV cases per year reached 800-1,500, one patient’s case may have been registered as up to three to four individual diagnoses, as one patient may have received a positive diagnosis at an anonymous testing office multiple times.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, the number of double diagnoses may range from nine to 34 percent, however based on calculations by Kristi Rüütel, director of the Infectious Diseases and Drug Monitoring Department of the National Institute for Health Development (TAI), the figure is likely slightly above one-fifth at most.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla