Ahead of World Aids Day we have some HIV news to share.

Lambeth has the highest rates of HIV diagnoses, with 16.4 people per 1000 aged between 15 – 59 diagnosed in 2016 – up from 16.2 in 2015.

But Lambeth has the highest rates of HIV testing, with 68.9 per cent of the population tested in 2017.

Our work on prevention is paying off…

Latest data, published 4 September 2018, show a total of 4,363 people (3,236 males and 1,125 females1 ) were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2017 in the United Kingdom. New HIV diagnoses have continued to decline over the past decade with a substantial decrease over the past two years; the 2017 figure represents a 28% drop from the diagnoses in 2015. This recent reduction has been mostly driven by fewer HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, which have decreased by almost a third (31%) since 2015. Previously, diagnoses among gay and bisexual men had been increasing year on year.

This is best explained by the large increases in HIV testing, particularly in repeat HIV testing among higher risk men, as well as improvements in the uptake of anti-retroviral therapy. And diagnoses among black African and black Caribbean heterosexuals have decreased steadily over the past decade. This is largely due to changes in migration patterns, with fewer people entering the UK from high prevalence countries.

There are still challenges in the sector…

Despite these promising reductions in diagnoses, significant challenges remain to the control of HIV in the UK. The proportion of people diagnosed at a late stage of infection has remained persistently high over the past five years at close to 40%. Late diagnosis is associated with a ten-fold increased risk of short term mortality (within a year of diagnosis) and an increased risk of onward transmission.

The overall late diagnosis rate in 2017 was 43% with the highest rates among black African heterosexual men and the lowest rates among gay and bisexual men. In 2017, there were 230 people with an AIDS-defining illness reported at HIV diagnosis (5.3%) and 428 deaths among people with HIV.

People receiving HIV care

The number of people receiving HIV-related care has increased by over 50% over the last decade to 93,385 in 2017. This is due to ongoing new diagnoses and people living longer with HIV.

Source: Public Health England - Trends in new HIV diagnoses and people receiving HIV-related care in the United Kingdom: data to the end of December 2017

Further information can be found here.