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OnMedica – News – UK HIV diagnosis rates twice as high as western Europe

Annual HIV report says over 13,000 individuals unaware they’re contaminated

Mark Gould

Monday, 19 December 2016

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Rates of diagnosis of latest instances of HIV an infection within the UK are virtually twice the typical price of different western European nations, in accordance with official statistics.

The annual report* on HIV within the UK, revealed immediately by Public Health England, reveals that final yr 6,095 individuals have been recognized with HIV: this represents a brand new diagnosis fee of 11.four per 100,000 individuals. This fee is greater than most different nations in western Europe, the typical being 6.three per 100,000 individuals in 2015.

The report additionally reveals that an estimated 101,200 individuals have been dwelling with HIV within the UK, final yr. Of these, 13,500 (13%) have been unaware of their an infection and vulnerable to passing on the virus to others. The majority, 69% have been males and 31% have been women. The HIV prevalence within the UK is estimated to be 1.6 per 1,000 inhabitants.

HIV incidence amongst homosexual/bisexual males stays persistently high; in England, an estimated 2,800 homosexual/bisexual males acquired HIV in 2015, with the overwhelming majority buying the virus inside the UK. Overall, in 2015, 47,000 homosexual/bisexual males have been estimated to be dwelling with HIV, of whom 5,800 or 12% remained undiagnosed.

Diagnosis rates, though larger than in most western European nations, have remained regular at round 6,000 for the previous 5 years, reflecting each testing efforts and ongoing transmission of the virus.

The report additionally reveals that the UK epidemic is numerous “and assumptions about the characteristics of those living with HIV need to be challenged”. Over half (52%) of all individuals recognized in 2015 have been born within the UK, in contrast with 38% of individuals recognized in 2006.

This is essentially on account of fewer diagnoses amongst heterosexual males and women born overseas, notably in sub-Saharan Africa; there have been 1,110 diagnoses amongst black African heterosexuals in 2015, in contrast with three,170 in 2006. In distinction, the variety of homosexual/bisexual males born overseas has risen; in 2015, two in 5 homosexual/bisexual males recognized with HIV have been born overseas – in contrast with two in seven in 2006.

Fewer individuals are recognized with an AIDS-defining sickness or at a late stage of an infection however the numbers recognized late stay high. In 2015, amongst these with knowledge obtainable, 39% of adults have been recognized late, a decline from 56% in 2006. But the report notes that it’s “of concern” that folks recognized late proceed to have a ten-fold elevated danger of dying within the first yr of diagnosis in contrast with these recognized early. “This underscores the need to strengthen the application of testing policies.”

On a constructive notice the report says that HIV care is “comprehensive and of a high standard for all”. In 2015, 88,769 individuals acquired HIV care within the UK, up 73% from a decade in the past (51,449 in 2006). This displays the longer life expectancy conferred by efficient antiretroviral remedy (ART), as nicely as constant numbers of individuals newly recognized.

Nearly all (97%) of the 6,095 individuals recognized with HIV in 2015 have been linked to specialist HIV care inside three months of diagnosis, just like earlier years. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority (94%) of individuals accessing HIV care in 2015 have been receiving ART and as a end result have undetectable virus of their blood and physique fluids and are most unlikely to move on their an infection.

The report’s introduction acknowledges the success of ART. “It is 20 years because the introduction of life-saving, free and efficient antiretroviral remedy (ART) within the UK. Treatment has reworked HIV from a deadly an infection right into a continual, manageable situation and other people dwelling with HIV within the UK can now anticipate to reside into previous age if recognized promptly. For many individuals, remedy means one day by day pill with no or few unwanted effects. More just lately, it has been demonstrated that some great benefits of ART prolong past private medical profit. It is now extensively understood that efficient HIV remedy leads to an ‘undetectable’ viral load which is protecting from passing on the virus to others.”

While testing and remedy for HIV within the UK is free and out there to all, over 13,000 individuals dwelling with HIV stay undiagnosed and rates of late diagnosis stay high.

“Late HIV diagnosis is related to poorer health outcomes, together with untimely dying. Furthermore, because the overwhelming majority of individuals recognized with HIV are successfully handled, most new HIV infections are handed on from individuals unaware of their an infection. Condoms stay an essential solution to forestall HIV and different sexually transmitted infections and proceed to be really helpful with new and informal companions particularly.

“Symptoms as a consequence of HIV and AIDS might not seem for a few years, and people who find themselves unaware of their an infection might not really feel themselves to be in danger. However, anybody can purchase HIV no matter age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or faith and it’s important to problem assumptions about who’s susceptible to HIV. As nicely as growing consciousness of HIV, efforts to scale back stigma and different socio-cultural limitations that forestall individuals from testing and looking for lengthy-time period care have to be strengthened.”

* HIV within the UK: 2016 report. Public Health England

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