Health Agency Calls for More Testing as UK's Battle With HIV Goes Into Reverse
December 1, 2011
The declining trend for new HIV infections in Britain seems to have leveled off, with domestic transmissions rising even as infections acquired abroad have fallen, the Health Protection Agency reported Tuesday. At the end of 2010, an estimated 91,500 people in the United Kingdom had HIV, HPA said, up from 86,500 in 2009. The total for this year is forecast to top 100,000. Included in the 2010 figure are the estimated one-quarter of Britons with HIV who have not been diagnosed and do not realize they are infected.
Of new diagnoses in 2010, 3,000 were among men who have sex with men, a record high. Most MSM cases were white (83 percent); 67 percent were UK-born; and 81 percent acquired HIV domestically. A third were under age 35. It is estimated that one in 20 MSM in the United Kingdom have HIV, rising to one in 12 in London.
Of the estimated 91,500 people with HIV, just over 40,000 are MSM; about 2,300 are injection drug users. Some 47,000 people acquired HIV through heterosexual sex, including 19,300 African-born women and 9,900 African-born men.
Half of new diagnoses in 2010 were made after treatment should ideally have begun, HPA said. In 2010, 680 people with HIV died: Two-thirds were diagnosed late; most died within a year of testing; and most, 510, were men.
The Department of Health said an estimated 40 percent of the £1.9 billion (US $2.98 billion) England spent on infectious diseases in 2009-10 went to HIV/AIDS, excluding the costs of psychosocial care and HIV testing, HPA said. Just £2.9 million (US $ 4.5 million), or 1 percent of the HIV budget that year, was spent on prevention.
To view the report, visit: www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/InfectiousDiseases/HIVAndSTIs/.
The Guardian (London)
11.29.2011; Sarah Boseley
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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