December 2007

HIV transmission still on the increase

The government's Health Protection Agency is warning that there is no sign that HIV transmission amongst gay and bisexual men is slowing down.

The Agency said that around 7,800 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2006, with over 2,700 of them gay and bisexual men. Dr Valerie Delpech, head of HIV surveillance at the Agency said, ìIn recent years we have seen steady increases in all sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV, in gay men and since 2003, the number of HIV diagnoses reported annually has consistently increased and exceeded the annual number of diagnoses throughout the 1980s and 1990s.î

Increased testing will have contributed in part to these recent high numbers of HIV diagnoses, but the Agency warned that there is no suggestion that the overall level of underlying HIV transmission in gay men has fallen. Unprotected sex continues to be a very high risk activity for HIV and STI transmission in this group.

Read more at the HPA website.