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Home Industry News Study shames UK’s HIV statistics

Study shames UK’s HIV statistics

29th May 2009

A new report has described the number of undiagnosed people with HIV as “appalling”.

Recent figures show there are an estimated 77,000 people living with the disease in the UK, of which 21,000 do not know they have the illness.

The statistics released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) also show a third of those living with HIV are diagnosed late, after the time at which treatment should have already begun.

An editorial in the Lancet claimed the number of people entirely unaware of their positive HIV status should be of “deep concern” to the Department of Health. It described the figures as “serious epidemiological issues”.

The report suggested the problem lies in the fact the HPA is separated from the front-line delivery of clinic care in the NHS and its recommendations have been largely ignored.

It is instead recommended that a “purposeful, but not coercive, policy of HIV testing” for all men and women aged 15 to 59 years should be introduced.

The report claimed the means of targeting this population group can be achieved by patients registered to general practitioners and those admitted to hospital pointing to the fact that in antenatal and genitourinary clinic settings.

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