HIV in the UK statistics

Stay informed with the latest data on HIV in the UK from 2019

Living with HIV

In 2014, UNAIDS established the global 90-90-90 targets.

  • The aim was for 90% of all people living with HIV to be diagnosed, 90% of those diagnosed to receive HIV treatment and 90% of those receiving treatment to achieve viral suppression, by 2020.  
  • If taken as percentages of all people living with HIV, the 90-90-90 targets translate as 90% of all people living with HIV to be diagnosed, 81% of all people living with HIV are on treatment and 73% of all people living with HIV are virally suppressed.

In 2019, it was estimated that there are 105,200 people living with HIV in the UK. 

  • 94% of these people are diagnosed, and therefore know that they have HIV. This means that around 1 in 16 people living with HIV in the UK do not know that they have the virus.
  • 98% of people diagnosed with HIV in the UK are on treatment, and 97% of those on treatment are virally suppressed which means they can’t pass the virus on. Of all the people living with HIV in the UK, 89% are virally suppressed. 

The means that the UK has met (and exceeded) the UNAIDs 90-90-90 targets for 2020.

Accessing care

  • A total of 98,552 people, including 285 children aged under 15, received HIV care in 2019.

  • The number of people accessing specialist care for HIV has steadily grown over the last decade. From 2010 to 2019, the number of people accessing HIV care has increased by around 42%.

Gender

  • Of the 98,552 people accessing HIV care in the UK in 2018, 68,088 were male and 30,388 were female. Therefore just over two-thirds of the people accessing HIV care in the UK in 2019 were male. 


Ethnicity

  • Over half of people receiving HIV specialist care in the UK in 2019 were white (53,621 - 54.6%), and just over a quarter were Black African (28,525 - 28.7%).

  • 5,581 (5.7%) of people receiving HIV care were of ‘Other/mixed’ ethnicity, 3,902 (4%) were Asian, 2,780 (2.8%) were Black Caribbean and 2,153 (2.2%) were Black other.


Age

  • As people can live longer, healthier lives with HIV we have seen the number of people with an HIV diagnosis who are aged 50 and over increase in recent years. 


  • More than two in five people accessing HIV care in 2019 were aged 50 or over (41,855 - 42.4%). For the first time since 2010 the number of people living with HIV aged 50 and over matches that of the 35-49 years age group (41,832 - 42.4%). This shows how effective treatment is helping people to live longer with HIV.

 

UK Distribution

  • The vast majority (90,121 - 91.5%) of people receiving HIV care in the UK in 2019 did so in England.
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  • In Wales 2,358 (2.4%) people received HIV care in 2019, in Scotland it was 4,945 (5%) and 1,122 people (1.1%) in Northern Ireland.

  • Within England, 37,709 (41.8%) people who receive HIV care access it in London.

Mode of transmission

  • The majority (91,216 - 92.6%) of people accessing HIV care in 2019 acquired HIV through sexual transmission. 

  • The proportion of people accessing HIV care in 2019 who acquired HIV transmission through heterosexual sex (45,445 - 46.1%) is very similar to the proportion of people who acquired HIV through sex between men (45,771 - 46.4%). 

  • Much smaller proportions of people accessing HIV care in 2019 acquired HIV through injecting drug use (1,872 - 1.9%) or vertical transmission (1,941 - 2.0%). Vertical transmission occurs when HIV is passed from mother to baby, either in the womb, during birth or via breastfeeding.
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  • The mode of transmission has not been determined for 3,523 (3.6%) people accessing HIV care in 2019. 

Newly Diagnosed

Headlines

  • 4,139 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2019.

  • New HIV diagnoses have continued to decline over the past decade with a substantial decrease over the past two years; decreasing by 10% between 2018 and 2019, and by 34% since we saw a peak number in 2014 (6,312 new diagnoses).
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  • This recent reduction has been mostly driven by fewer HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, which have decreased by 47% since 2014 (3,214 new diagnoses in 2014 to 1,700 in 2019). 

Mode of transmission

  • 3,259 (78.8%) of new diagnoses in 2019 were due to sexual transmission. The largest proportion of new diagnoses in 2019 were due to sex between men, followed by heterosexual sex. 
HIV stats - gender

Gender

  • Out of the 4,139 people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019, 3,000 (72.5%) were male and 1,139 (27.5%) were female.

Ethnicity

  • Just under half (1,965 - 47.5%) of people diagnosed with HIV in 2019 were white and 762 (18.4%) were black African. 
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  • 383 (9.3%) of new diagnoses were among people with 'Other/mixed' ethnicity, 253 (6.1%) were among Asian people, 83 (2%) were among Black Caribbean people and 78 (1.9%) were among Black Other.

Age

  • 2,814 (68%) of people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019 were aged between 25 and 49. 
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  • The number of people being diagnosed with HIV later in life continues to grow, with just over one in five people newly diagnosed aged 50 or over in 2019. 

UK Distribution

  • The majority of newly diagnosed cases of HIV in the UK occur in England (3,772 - 91.3%). Within England, the region which has the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses is London (1,510 - 36.5%).

Late diagnosis

Headlines

  • Someone is considered to have been diagnosed late if they have a CD4 count below 350 cells/mm³ within three months of diagnosis.

  • People who are diagnosed late have been living with undiagnosed HIV for around three to five years, on average.

  • Late diagnosis increases the risk of ill-health, early death and onward transmission of HIV.
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  • 42% of people newly diagnosed in 2019 were diagnosed at a late stage of HIV infection.

Mode of transmission

  • In 2019, the proportion of late diagnoses was highest among heterosexual men (52%), followed by heterosexual women (44%) and other exposure categories (45%), and people who inject drugs (40%). It was lowest among men who have sex with men (35%)

Age at diagnosis

  • Older people are more likely to be diagnosed late. In 2019, 29% of people aged 15-24 were diagnosed late, compared to 56% of those aged 50-64 and 59% of those aged 65 and older. 

Ethnicity

  • People from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are more likely to be diagnosed late.
  • The proportion of late diagnoses was highest among people of Black African people (47%), followed by Black Caribbean (46%), Black Other (44%) and Asian (43%). The group least likely affected by late diagnosis is Other/mixed (35%).

UK Distribution

  • Geographically, the highest rates of late diagnosis in 2019 were in Wales (55%), followed by England and Scotland (both at 41%) and Northern Ireland (39%).


Men who have sex with men (MSM)

New HIV Diagnoses

  • We use the term 'men who have sex with men' to describe all gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.

  • In 2019, 1,700 MSM were newly diagnosed with HIV, making up 41% of all new HIV diagnoses. This is a 46% decrease since 2015 and reflects the success of increased HIV testing and increased uptake of HIV treatment. The introduction of HIV prevention drug PrEP is also likely to have had an impact. 
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  • Of the 1,700 MSM newly diagnosed, 35% were diagnosed late.

Age

  • 1,254 (74%) of MSM newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019 were aged between 25 and 49.
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  • All age groups have seen a decrease in diagnoses since 2015.

Ethnicity

  • The majority (1,107 - 65%) of MSM diagnosed with HIV in 2019 were white. 
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  • The second-largest ethnic group among MSM newly diagnosed with HIV were people with 'Other/mixed' ethnicity (204 - 12%).

UK distribution

  • The majority of newly diagnosed cases of HIV among MSM in the UK occur in England (1,583 - 93%). Within England, the region which has the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses among MSM is London (702 - 44%).

Accessing HIV care

  • In 2019, 45,771 MSM accessed HIV care, making up 46% of all those accessing HIV care in the UK. 
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  • Of these, 45,165 (99%) were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) as treatment for HIV. HIV treatment enables people living with HIV to lead full and active lives with a normal life expectancy. It also eliminates the risk of transmission to sexual partners (for more information on this, see here.)

Age

  • 18,088 (40%) of MSM accessing HIV care in 2019 were aged 35-49, making this the largest age group represented. 
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  • The second largest group is 50-64, consisting of 16,227 (35%) MSM receiving HIV care in 2019. As people are living longer with HIV, the average age of those accessing care is increasing. 

Ethnicity 

  • The vast majority of MSM accessing care in 2019 were White (38,268 - 84%).
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  • As with new diagnoses, the second largest ethnic group among MSM accessing care in 2019 were people with 'Other/mixed' ethnicity (2,694 - 6%).

UK distribution

  • The vast majority (41,584, 91%) of MSM receiving HIV care in the UK in 2019 did so in England.
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  • Within England, 19,174 (46%) MSM who receive HIV care access it in London.

Black African people


New HIV Diagnoses

  • In 2019, 762 Black African people were newly diagnosed with HIV, making up 18% of all new HIV diagnoses.

  • Of these, 47% were diagnosed late. Black African people are most affected by late diagnoses compared to other ethnic groups. 

  • Of the 762 Black African people newly diagnosed, 581 (76%) were heterosexual and 56 (7%) were men who have sex with men. The sexual orientation of the remaining 125 (16%) is undetermined.

  • New HIV diagnoses in Black African heterosexuals have been decreasing steadily over the past 10 years - falling 67% between 2010 and 2019. Public Health England attributes this to effective combination prevention strategies as well as changing migration patterns. 
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  • The following graphs are focused on Black African heterosexuals only, as this is how Public Health England produces their disaggregated data. 


Gender

  • Of the 581 Black African heterosexuals newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019, 208 (36%) were male and 373 were female (64%). 

UK distribution

  • The majority of newly diagnosed cases of HIV among Black African heterosexuals in the UK occur in England (600, 93%). Within England, the region which has the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses among Black African heterosexuals is London (171, 29%).

Accesing HIV Care

  • In 2019, 28,525 Black African people accessed HIV care, making up 29% of all those accessing HIV care in the UK.​​​​​​

  • The vast majority of Black African people receiving HIV care acquired HIV through heterosexual sex (25,679 - 90%).

The following graph is focused on Black African heterosexuals only, as this is how Public Health England produces their disaggregated data.


Age

  • 13,326 (52%) of Black African heterosexuals accessing HIV care in 2019 were aged 35-49, making this the largest age group represented. 
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  • This is followed by Black African heterosexuals aged 50-64 (10,006, 39%). As people are living longer with HIV, the average age of those accessing care is increasing.

Trans people


Since 2017 Public Health England has published data on trans people accessing HIV care and those newly diagnosed with HIV.


Headlines

  • The majority of trans people accessing HIV care are trans women. In 2019, 111 trans women, 31 trans men and 7 gender diverse people were accessing HIV care in England.

  • Trans people aged 35-49 are the largest group in terms of age.

  • The majority of trans people accessing HIV care are white (79 people), with 47 trans people of other or mixed ethnicity making up the second largest group.
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  • Nearly all of the trans people accessing HIV care in 2019 acquired HIV through sex between men.
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  • 8 trans people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019. 

Mode of transmission

  • The majority of trans people receiving HIV care acquired HIV through sex between men (95 - 63%) 

Gender

  • Of the 151 trans people accessing HIV care in 2019, 31 (21%) were male, 111 (74%) were female and 7 (5%) were gender diverse. 

Age

  • Of the 151 trans people accessing HIV care in 2019, there is a fairly even spread across all age groups. 42 (28%) are aged 15-34, 64 (42%) are aged 35-49 and 45 (30%) are aged 50 and over. 

Ethnicity

  • Just over half of all trans people accessing HIV care in 2019 are White (79 - 52%), with 47 (31%) trans people of 'Other/mixed' ethnicity making up the second largest group. 

UK statistics have been sourced from Public Health England. You can read PHE's annual report on HIV in the UK and access the data on the PHE website.