HIV/AIDS in the United Kingdom

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In 2013, the prevalence of HIV in the United Kingdom was estimated at 107,800.[1] An estimated 6000 people were newly diagnosed during 2013.There has been a decrease in diagnoses amongst heterosexual men and women, largely due to trends in migration from high prevalence countries. Trends in diagnoses among men who have sex with men remain constant.

An estimated 26,000 people living with HIV were unaware of their infection in 2013 (24%). Almost half (42%) of all people living with HIV in the UK are diagnosed late, meaning they have usually been living with the virus for over four years.[2] This can have a devastating effect on their long-term health and mean they have an 11-fold chance of dying in the first year after diagnosis. This has improved since 2012 when 47% of people were undiagnosed.

The two groups most affected by HIV in the UK remain gay and bisexual men and black African heterosexuals – three-quarters of people diagnosed with HIV in 2013 were among these two groups. MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) are the group most affected by HIV, with 1 in 17 living with the condition.

In 2013, less than 1% of people living with a diagnosed HIV infection in the UK died (cause of death is uncertain and may not be HIV-related). This is about the same as for the UK population as a whole. People newly diagnosed with HIV today can expect to have a normal life expectancy if they are diagnosed on time and on effective treatment.

In 2013, one in four adults seen for HIV care were 50 years of age or older. This is partly due to improvements to life expectancy for people living with HIV as well as increasing numbers of people acquiring HIV later in life.

Awareness campaigns[edit]

In 1987 the British Government launched "AIDS: Don't Die of Ignorance", a major public information campaign. A leaflet about AIDS was delivered to every household in the UK, which warned that it is impossible to tell who is infected with the virus.[3] National AIDS Trust launched a campaign challenging HIV stigma in March 2003.[4] In April 2013 HIV Prevention England started a two year campaign funded by the Department of Health communicating messages about HIV testing and condoms to Africans and MSM.

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References[edit]