In the last decade, the number of annually registered HIV cases has dropped by a fourth, according to recent data from the National Institute for Health Development.
In 2001, around 1,400 HIV-infected people were registered in Estonia. Five years later, the annual number of new cases dropped to 670 and by last year, the figure was at 370.
In total, around 7,800 HIV cases have been registered in the country. The actual number of people infected, however, could be as high as 12,000. In 2008, Estonia had the highest prevalence of HIV cases in the EU, followed by Latvia and the UK, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
According to Ave Talu, head of the Drug Monitoring Center of the institute, for years, Estonia has taken preventative measures to curb the problem.
"Both scientific studies and daily monitoring show that HIV-infections among injecting drug users is stabilizing and this is partly due to the needle-exchange program," Talu told Postimees.
The state allocated around 12.1 million euros for HIV prevention in 2010 and distributed 2.4 million syringes to drug users.