According to a new report, about 50% of the people are diagnosed with HIV on late stages. They could be treated, if diagnosed earlier.
About 91,500 people in the UK had HIV in 2010 with about 25% of them unaware of the disease as reported by Health Protection Agency (HPA). This figure went up from 86,500 people in 2009. Reports showed that from 6,660 patients with newly diagnosed HIV in 2010, half came forward for diagnosis after the ideal therapeutic time.
One in five people, who visited the sexually transmitted infection clinic in the year 2010, did not accept an HIV test.
In 2010, highest ever annual figure of HIV in gay men have been reported i.e. more than 3000. 1 in 20 gay men have HIV. Only in London, 1 in 11 gay men have HIV. They are making the most likely group to be diagnosed late i.e. about 63% in which 39% of gay men and 58% heterosexual women.
In these cases, HPA is recommending that the testing should be done on all people even going to General Practitioner or admitted to hospital, but with the patient’s permission.
Dr Valerie Delpech, consultant epidemiologist and head of HIV surveillance at the HPA, said,
HIV is an infection which can nowadays be treated and those diagnosed promptly can expect to experience similar life expectancy as an individual without the infection.
However, we are very concerned that a large number of people in the UK are unaware of their HIV status and are diagnosed late. We want to see increased access to HIV testing routinely offered in clinical settings such as new registrants at GPs and hospital general admissions, in areas of the country where rates of HIV infection are high.