The number of people living with diagnosed HIV is continuing to rise in the UK – according to a report by Public Health England.
More than 85,000 people in the UK were seen for HIV care in 2014 and 6,151 people were diagnosed with the virus, an increase on figures from 2013.
HIV is most prevalent in London – which had almost half of new diagnosis at 2,671 – and the south east of England.
In 2014, Brighton and Hove had the most cases of diganosed HIV on the south coast, with more than 4 in every 1,000 people aged between 15 and 59 living with diagnosed HIV.
Across East Sussex and West Sussex, the borough of Crawley had the highest rates with between 3 and 3.99 in every 1,000 people living with HIV.
The districts of Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes, Worthing and Adur had between 2 and 2.99 people with HIV in every 1,000.
Mid Sussex, Chichester, Arun and Rother recorded between 1 and 1.99 people per every thousand – but Horsham and Wealden district recorded the lowest with less than 0.99 people per every 1,000 living with the virus.
Two out of five people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2014 in the UK had ‘late stage’ HIV, and of 613 people with HIV who died last year, most had been diagnosed late.
Natika Halil, chief executive of FPA, a sexual health charity, said: “The proportion of late diagnoses has decreased but it is still high at 40 per cent, and particularly so among black African people (58 per cent) and heterosexual men (61 per cent).
“Once diagnosed and on treatment, people with HIV can expect a near-normal life span, so it is vital for us to increase testing.
“It’s also important to consider that one in six people now living with HIV in the UK is aged over 55.
“This reflects the effectiveness of treatment we have but it also highlights challenges for healthcare professionals.
“As we have more and more people living with HIV in older age, we must ensure suitable care and support is in place, especially in managing HIV along with other conditions they may have.”
One fifth – 21 per cent – of English local authorities had a diagnosed HIV prevalence above 2 per 1,000 in 2014.
The report said: “There is an urgent need to increase HIV testing opportunities and uptake for people living in these areas, in line
with national HIV testing guidelines.”
In 2014 as estimated 3,360 men acquired HIV through sex with men, with 2,490 people – 1,065 men and 1,425 women – acquired HIV through heterosexual sex.
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