Data released last month by the Health Protection Agency shows that almost 70,000 persons were accessing HIV-related care at the end of 2010, an increase of 4,100 (6%) compared to 2009. An estimated 90% were being treated as indicated under the current national guidelines.
Men who have sex with men remain the group most at risk of becoming infected with HIV, with 3,000 new diagnoses made in 2010 – the largest ever annual number of new HIV diagnoses in this group since the HIV epidemic began.
Dr Valerie Delpech, head of HIV at the Health Protection Agency, said:
“Despite progress in delivering treatment, preventing transmission is critical to reducing HIV costs to the NHS, which were an estimated £484 million in 2010 – an increase of £49 million from the previous year.
“The best way to prevent all sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, is to practise safe sex. This means using a condom with all new sexual partners until you have both been tested and given the all-clear.”
The national HIV and AIDS new diagnoses and deaths database held at the Health Protection Agency collects demographic and epidemiological information on adults (aged 15 years and older) who are newly diagnosed with HIV within England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Further demographic and epidemiological information on new diagnoses in Scotland are collected from Health Protection Scotland and for paediatric cases from the Institute of Child Health. On a six monthly basis, this information is collated to produce the number of individuals newly diagnosed with HIV in the United Kingdom, providing an understanding of the current epidemic and at risk groups.
You can download the new HIV diagnoses national tables from here.