Figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) released today show that new diagnoses among people infected with HIV in the UK have almost doubled in the past decade (from 1,950 in 2001 to 3,780 in 2010). Gay or bisexual men remain the group most at risk of becoming infected with HIV and new diagnoses in this group alone have increased by 70 per cent in the past 10 years (rising from 1,810 in 2001 to 3,080 in 2010).
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), comments:
‘With UK-acquired HIV diagnoses amongst gay men increasing by 70% over the past decade, it is clear there is more we can do in HIV prevention. Reducing late diagnosis not only benefits the individual, but brings prevention benefits too. Those diagnosed earlier are better equipped to prevent HIV transmission, and those on treatment with a fully suppressed viral load see their infectiousness very significantly reduced. A key message for sexually active gay men is to have an HIV test at least once a year, and more frequently if you have put yourself at particular risk, have an STI or change partners. If we all acted on this we would see real progress.’