IMPACT OF HIV ON UK GAY COMMUNITY CONTINUES UNABATED.
Public Health England reports greatest number of new diagnoses in gay men
PHE also states that it sees no evidence of a decline in the rate with which gay men are getting HIV in the UK. 1 in 17 gay men in the UK aged 15-59 is now living with HIV, rising to 1 in 8 in London. This compares to around 1 in 360 of the UK population as a whole. Over a quarter of gay men who were diagnosed in 2013 had probably acquired HIV in the past six months.2 However, 16% of gay men living with HIV remain undiagnosed.
Undiagnosed HIV remains a problem in the UK in general, with around a quarter of the total population of people living with HIV currently unaware that they have the virus.
Undiagnosed HIV is a serious public health issue – those undiagnosed are less able to protect their sexual partners from risk of HIV transmission. They are also unable to benefit from treatments which allow people living with HIV to live long and healthy lives.
PHE also report that for the first time the number of people living with HIV in the UK exceeds 100,000 - at 107,800.
Deborah Gold, chief executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), said:"Whilst we pass the 100,000 mark in the number of people living with HIV in the UK, there is in our society a dangerous complacency about the challenge of HIV. Rates of new infections among gay men show no signs of abating but funding for HIV prevention from local authorities is patchy and in many places non-existent. We are taking far too long to get new prevention options like PrEP2 to the gay men who need them. We lack a strategy for HIV across the UK and as a result there is no vision as to how to make progress. HIV is not over in the UK, and we must take action."
Notes to the editor:
The full report is here and the press release from PHE is here.
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
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