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58,000 people living with HIV in the UK

Published on 05/12/05 at 10:57am

The number of people living with HIV in the UK is now more than 58,000 - including nearly 20,000 who remain unaware of their infection and therefore undiagnosed.

Dr Barry Evans, an HIV expert at the Health Protection Agency said: "Our report Mapping the Issues coincides with World Aids Day and allows us to take stock of the progress made in our efforts to prevent the spread of HIV. There is no part of the UK that remains unaffected by HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. The report shows that rates of infection vary across the country. This is due to a range of factors including differing levels of risk behaviour, urbanisation and demographics."

Numbers of new HIV cases were virtually static in the UK compared to the previous year, with more than half diagnosed in heterosexual men and women, 73% of which were likely to have been acquired in Africa.

But cases likely to have been acquired through heterosexual sex in Africa have been levelling off in recent years, while there has been a slow but steady rise in heterosexual infections acquired in the UK in recent years, from 227 diagnoses in 2000 to 498 in 2004.

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