The Changing Epidemiology of Prevalent Diagnosed HIV Infections in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, 1997 to 2003
July 25, 2005
The authors designed this study to present the current epidemiology of prevalent diagnosed HIV infections in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and to describe trends over time. Using descriptive analyses of the annual national Survey of Prevalent HIV Infections Diagnosed (SOPHID) for 1997-2003, the investigators found that 34,251 adults (age 15 or older) were seen for HIV-related care and treatment in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland in 2003. The number represented a 17 percent increase in the prevalence of diagnosed HIV infections over 2002 and a 132 percent increase over 1997. Between 1997 and 2003, as a proportion of total cases, adults who acquired HIV through heterosexual sex increased from 26 percent to 49 percent. The proportion of cases occurring among Black African adults increased from 15 percent to 35 percent. The proportion of HIV cases occurring among adults in London fell from 62 percent to 55 percent of the total. The proportion of adult patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy increased from 53 percent in 1998 to 64 percent in 2003.
"There has been a large increase in the number of adults with diagnosed HIV infection seen for care in [England, Wales and Northern Ireland] since 1997," the authors concluded. "Changes in the epidemiology of prevalent diagnosed HIV were seen by sex, route of infection, ethnicity, level of antiretroviral therapy, and areas of residence and treatment. In 2003, for the first time, prevalent diagnosed infections acquired through heterosexual sex overtook those acquired through sex between men. These increases have serious implications for the planning and financing of HIV services in the United Kingdom."
Sexually Transmitted Infections
06.05; Vol. 81: P. 223-229; B.D. Rice; L.J. Payne; K. Sinka; B. Patel; B.G. Evans; V. Delpech