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Record Levels of HIV Diagnoses Among Gay and Bisexual Men as More Men Get Tested

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Younger gay men lead the way in getting tested

The latest figures from the Health Protection Agency reveal that more gay men are getting tested for HIV, increasing the number of gay and bisexual men diagnosed with HIV last year to the highest figure since the start of the epidemic. Over 32,000 gay and bisexual men are now living with HIV.  

3,160 gay and bisexual men were diagnosed with HIV in 2007 – compared with 2,700 diagnosed in 2006. 

More gay men getting tested

This increase in diagnoses is likely to be because more gay men are getting tested for HIV. Testing in sexual health clinics has increased, with 86 per cent of gay men offered a test in sexual health clinics accepting compared to 84 per cent in 2006. The proportion of gay men unaware of their HIV infection has declined to 1 in 4 - compared with 1 in 3 previously.

Younger men leading the way

Young gay men in particular are getting better at coming forward for HIV tests. Young gay men (under 25) are more likely to accept a HIV test compared with older gay men, 92% of under 25s accepted a test in a sexual health clinic in 2007 compared to 84 per cent of older gay men. 

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), comments:

“We are seeing positive signs over recent years as slowly the messages about the importance of having HIV tests are getting through and more gay men are getting tested. Especially heartening is that young gay men are coming forward for tests. This testing culture among young men new on the scene needs to expand to older gay men who are most at risk from HIV.  

Given the record number of diagnoses we are seeing each year, the message remains HIV must be something that all gay men think about. Every gay man should get tested at least once a year.”

Notes to the editor:

The full report from the Health Protection Agency is available at:
http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1227515310331?...

For further information please contact:

Katherine Sladden
Communications Officer
NAT
020 7814 6733 / 07947 725299
press@nat.org.uk

NAT

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.

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www.nat.org.uk