HIV IN THE UK STATISTICS - 2018

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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 2018, it was estimated that there are 103 800 people living with HIV in the UK. 

  • 93% of these people are diagnosed, and therefore know that they have HIV. This means that around 1 in 14 people living with HIV in the UK do not know that they have the virus.
  • 97% 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, 87% 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 96142 people, including 319 children aged under 15, recevied HIV care in 2018.
  • The number of people accesing specialist care for HIV has steadily grown over the last decade. From 2009 to 2019, the number of people accessing HIV care has increased by around 47%.

Gender

  • Of the 96 142 people accesing HIV care in the UK in 2018, 66 257 were male and 29712 were female. So around two-thirds of the people accesing HIV care in the UK in 2018 were male. 


ETHNICITY

  • Over half of people receiving HIV specialist care in the UK in 2018 were white (52266, 54.4%), and just over a quarter were Black African (27667, 28.8%).
  • 5267 (5.5%) of people receiving HIV care were of ‘Other/mixed’ ethnicity, 3676 (3.8%) were Asian, 2768 (2.9%) were Black Caribbean and 2345 (2.4%) were Black other.


AGE

  • As people are now living longer with HIV, the number of people with an HIV diagnosis who are aged 50 and over has seen an increase in recent years.


  • Two in five people accesing HIV care in 2018 were aged 50 or over (38193, 33.8%).

 

UK Distribution

  • The vast majority (88002, 91.5%) of people receiving HIV care in the UK in 2018 did so in England.
  • Within England, 36689 (42%) people who receive HIV care access it in London.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

  • The majority (89026, 93%) of people accesing HIV care in 2018 acquired HIV through sexual transmission. 
  • The proportion of people accesing HIV care in 2018 who acquired HIV transmission through heterosexual sex (44451, 46.2%) is very similar to the proportion of people who acquired HIV through sex between men (44575, 46.4%). 
  • Much smaller proportions of people accesing HIV care in 2018 acquired HIV through injecting drug use (1864, 1.9%) or vertical tranmission (1920, 2.0%). Vertical transmission occurs when HIV is passed from mother to baby, either in the womb, during birth or via breastfeeding.
  • The mode of transmission has not been determined for 3332 (3.5%) people accessing HIV care in 2018. 

Newly Diagnosed

HEADLINES

  • 4,453 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2018.
  • New HIV diagnoses have continued to decline over the past decade with a substantial decrease over the past two years; decreasing by 6% between 2017 and 2018, and by 29% since 2015.
  • This recent reduction has been mostly driven by fewer HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, which have decreased by 35% since 2015. 

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

  • 3458 (78%) of new diagnoses in 2018 were due to sexual transmission. The largest proportion of new diagnoses in 2018 were due to sex between men, followed by heterosexual sex. 

GENDER

  • Out of the 4453 people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018, 3266 (73.3%) were male and 1185 (26.6%) were female.

ETHNICITY

  • Just under half (2127, 47.8%) of people diagnosed with HIV in 2018 were white and 818 (18.4%) were black African. 
  • 457 (10.3%) of new diagnoses were among people with 'Other/mixed' ethnicity, 245 (5.5%) were among Asian people, 95 (21.2%) were among Black Caribbean people and 82 (1.8%) were among Black Other.

AGE

  • 3000 (78%) of people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018 were aged between 25 and 49. 
  • There are a growing number of people being diagnoses with HIV later in life, with around one in five people newly diagnosed aged 50 or over in 2018. ​​​​​​​

UK Distribution

  • The majority of newly diagnosed cases of HIV in the UK occur in England (4044, 90.8%). Within England, the region which has the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses in London (1504, 33.7%).

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.
  • 43% of people newly diagnosed in 2018 were diagnosed at a late stage of HIV infection.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

  • In 2018, the proportion of late diagnoses was highest among heterosexual men (59%), followed by heterosexual women (49%) and people who inject drugs (49%), and other exposure categories (45%). It was lowest among men who have sex with men.

AGE AT DIAGNOSIS

  • Older people are more likely to be diagnosed late. In 2018, 28% of people aged 15-24 were diagnosed late, compared to 58% of those aged 50-64 and 61% 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 52%), followed by Black other (44%), Asian (43%) and Black Caribbean (40%). The group least likely affected by late diagnosis is Other/mixed (35%).

UK Distribution

  • Geographically, the highest rates of late diagnosis in 2018 were in England (43%), followed by Wales and Northern Ireland (both at 40%) and Scotland (35%).


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 2018, 1908 MSM were newly diagnosed with HIV, making up 43% of all new HIV diagnoses. This is a 35% decrease since 2015 and reflects the success of increased HIV testing and increased uptake HIV treatment. The introduction of PrEP is also likely to have had an impact. 
  • Of the 1908 MSM newly diagnosed, 33% were diagnosed late.

AGE 

  • 1393 (74%) of MSM newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018 were aged between 25 and 49. 
  • All age groups have seen a decrease in diagnoses since 2015.

ETHNICITY

  • The majority (1276, 67%) of MSM diagnosed with HIV in 2018 were white. 
  • The second largest ethnic group among MSM newly diagnosed with HIV were people with 'Other/mixed' ethnicity (287, 15%).

UK distribution

  • The majority of newly diagnosed cases of HIV among MSM in the UK occur in England (1730, 91%). Within England, the region which has the higest proportion of new HIV diagnoses among MSM is London (736, 43%).

ACCESSING HIV CARE

  • In 2018, 44575 MSM accessed HIV care, making up 46% of all those accessing HIV care in the UK. 
  • Of these, 43605 (98%) 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 expectancy. It also eliminates the risk on transmission to sexual partners (for more information on this, see here.)

AGE

  • 18214 (21%) of MSM accessing HIV care in 2018 were aged 35-49, making this the largest age group represented. 
  • The second largest group is 50-64, consisting of 15080 (34%) MSM receiving HIV care in 2018. As people are living longer with HIV, the average age of those accesing care is increasing. 

ethnicity 

  • The vast majority of MSM accesing care in 2018 were White (37369, 84%).
  • As with new diagnoses, the second largest ethnic group among MSM accessing care in 2018 were people with 'Other/mixed' ethnicity (2523, 6%).

UK DISTRIBUTION

  • The vast majority (40392, 91%) of MSM receiving HIV care in the UK in 2018 did so in England.
  • Within England, 18515 (46%) MSM who receive HIV care access it in London.

Black african people


NEW HIV Diagnoses

  • In 2018, 818 Black African people were newly diagnosed with HIV, making up 18% of all new HIV diagnoses.
  • Of these, 52% were diagnosed late. Black African people are most affected by late diagnoses compared to other ethnic groups. 
  • Of the 818 Black African people newly diagnosed, 646 (79%) were heterosexual and 48 (6%) were men who have sex with men. The sexual orientation of the remain 217 (16%) is undetermined.
  • New HIV diagnoses in black Afrian heterosexuals have been decreasing steadily over the past 10 years - falling 63% between 2009 and 2018. Public Health England attribute this to effective combination prevention strategies as well as changing migration patterns. 
  • The following graphs are focused on Black African heterosexuals only, as this is how Public Health England produces their disaggregrated data. 


GENDER

  • Of the 643 Black African heterosexuals newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018, 253 (39%) were male and 390 were female. 

AGE 

  • 1393 (74%) of MSM newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018 were aged between 25 and 49. 
  • All age groups have seen a decrease in diagnoses since 2015.

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 2018, 27667 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 (24966, 90%).
  • 1346 (5%) Black African people accessing HIV care in 2018 acquired HIV via vertical transmission. Vertical transmission occurs when HIV is passed from mother to baby, either in the womb, during birth or via breastfeeding. Verticla transmission occurs very rarely in the UK due to effective treatment, so in most cares this will have occured whilst the mother was living abroad.

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

GENDER

  • 1393 (74%) of MSM newly diagnosed with HIV in 2018 were aged between 25 and 49. 
  • All age groups have seen a decrease in diagnoses since 2015.

AGE

  • 13742 (55%) of Black African heterosexuals accessing HIV care in 2018 were aged 35-49, making this the largest age group represented. 
  • This is followed by Black African heterosexuals aged 50-64 (8815, 35%). As people are living longer with HIV, the average age of those accessing care is increasing.

UK DISTRIBUTION

  • The vast majority (23751, 95%) of Black African heterosexuals receiving HIV care in the UK in 2018 did so in England.
  • Within London, 9358 (40%) Black African heterosexuals who receive HIV care access it in London.

TRANS PEOPLE


For the first time in 2017, Public Health England has published data on trans people accessing HIV care.


HEADLINES

  • The majority of trans people accessing HIV care are trans women. In 2017, 114 trans women, <10 trans men and <5 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 (76 people), with 36 trans people of other or mixed ethnicity making up the
    second largest group.
  • Nearly all of the trans people accessing HIV care in 2017 acquired HIV through heterosexual contact.

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

  • The majority of trans people receiving HIV care acquired HIV through heterosexual sex (124, 82%) 

GENDER

  • Of the 152 trans people accessing HIV care in 2018, 30 (20%) were male, 128 (84%) were female and 5 (3%) were gender diverse. 

AGE

  • Of the 152 trans people accesing HIV care in 2018, there is a fairly even spread across all age groups. 43 (28%) are aged 15-34, 59 (39%) are aged 35-49 and 50 (33%) are aged 50 and over. 

ETHNICITY

  • The majority of trans people accessing HIV care in 2018 are White (97, 64%), with 35 (23%) 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.