Annual HIV data from Public Health England shows new diagnoses at their lowest level since 2000.
New diagnoses fell from 6,271 in 2015 to 4,484 in 2018. Diagnoses significantly declined in gay, bisexual and heterosexual populations between 2015-18.
This continued decline is primarily due to easier HIV testing, condom provision and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) – drugs that maintains a low level of HIV in the body and prevents the virus spreading.
“The number of people diagnosed late is lower than ever before.”
– Dr Valerie Delpech, Head of HIV Surveillance at PHE
In 2018, 94% of people with HIV in the UK were successfully virally suppressed and people with or without HIV have the same life expectancy.
However, the challenge remains in ensuring early diagnosis: in 2018, approximately 43% of newly diagnosed individuals were at a late stage of infection.
PHE currently aims to control HIV by 2030.
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Picture Credit: NIAD