Published: 02.03.09 Updated: 02.03.2009 16:08:56

Dear Reader,

This issue is the last issue of 2008. This is time to sum up what was done, how this was done, what are future plans. We hope that you noticed changes brought to the EpiNorth journal during 2008. We worked to make the journal useful to you and will continue to work for you.

In this issue, we offer you two original articles from the Russian Federation. The first one by F. Bayluk and co-authors describes risk behaviour among drug addicts with highly prevalent HIV and hepatitis C infection in Murmansk, Russian Federation. Each year World AIDS Day is marked on the 1 December in order to raise awareness to this important public health problem. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) recently published their estimates for prevalence of HIV infection among adults, pointing that high HIV prevalence among adults is still in Sub-Saharan Africa. As far as to EpiNorth region the highest prevalence is marked in Estonia (1.3%), Russian Federation (1.1%) and Ukraine (1.6%) among 15-49 years old adults. Continuous initiative has to be taken to combat HIV epidemic as currently UNAIDS estimates 33 million persons living with HIV worldwide.

The second original article is from N. Pavlova and L. Kaftyreva and addresses another important health problem in Russian Federation – salmonellosis. During the last 10 years salmonellosis infection has decreased in Russian Federation and particularly in Leningrad oblast not least due to the education campaigns among general population on prevention of salmonellosis.

Two more secondary publications from Eurosurveillance are offered to our readers. The first one, by I. Velicko and co-authors describes recent trends on syphilis epidemiology in Sweden while the second one by J. Süss is an overview of the epidemiology of tick-borne encephalitis during 2007 in Europe, the Far East and Asia.

Also in this issue we present to you abstracts from the recent annual Regional Epidemiologists’ Meeting (REM) held in Oslo, Norway. REM was initiated by state epidemiologist of Norway, Preben Aavitsland, and supported by state epidemiologists/ senior epidemiologists of Nordic countries and Baltic countries, as well as Northwestern Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. Each year specialists meet to discuss current public health problems in respective countries, share experience and discuss potential collaboration.

We wish you a pleasant reading and a fruitful New Year!

Yours sincerely,

Kuulo Kutsar                          Inga Velicko
Editor-in-Chief                       Managing Editor