"We must not be complacent": NAT responds to new data showing falls in HIV diagnoses
New data from PHE England released today shows continued falls in HIV diagnoses in 2018 but late diagnosis remains stubbornly high.
Kat Smithson, Director of Policy at NAT (National AIDS Trust), said: “It is fantastic to see HIV diagnoses continued to fall. We owe this success to those across the health and voluntary sector who, in spite of disappearing funding and growing demand, have been dedicated over many years to delivering effective HIV prevention strategies, including upscaling in HIV testing. When someone is diagnosed with HIV they can immediately go on to treatment which keeps them healthy and stops the the virus being passed on. Therefore, to continue to drive down HIV rates we must ensure everyone is diagnosed promptly. But unfortunately, today’s data shows we are still not tackling late diagnosis of HIV. This is where we must redouble efforts; we cannot be complacent.
“This year the Health Secretary committed to ending HIV transmissions by 2030. This ambitious target will not be achieved if funding for sexual health services continues to disappear as demand increases. As well as reinvesting in sexual health, and upscaling HIV testing, we urgently need to finally deliver what every UK nation except England already has: the HIV prevention pill PrEP free to all who need it on the NHS. It would be a disaster to jeopardise the success we’ve seen today by losing focus.”
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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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