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Rate of New HIV Cases Continues to Rise in UK UK reports 5,560 new HIV infections in 2005
  Author: Nick Gibbens
26 Jan 2006
The number of people living with HIV in the UK rose sharply again last year, early figures show.
According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), there were 5,560 new HIV cases reported during 2005.
The HPA said they expect this figure to exceed 7,750 when late reports for the year are published.
The rise in the number of new cases between 2004 and 2005 was mainly due to an increase in new diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM).
Figures showed that there were 1,712 new MSN cases recorded in 2005. This figure could rise to 2,453 when all reports are published, the HPA added.
"Sex between men remains the group in the UK at highest risk of acquiring HIV with evidence that transmission is continuing at a substantial rate," said Dr Valerie Delpech, of the Health Protection Agency's HIV department.
"The rise in the number of new diagnoses reported is likely to be due to more HIV testing among MSM and ongoing transmission of HIV."
Professor Pete Borriello, Director of the Agency's Centre for Infections, added: "The earlier people are diagnosed the more effectively their health can be monitored and antiretroviral treatment can be started.
"It is vital that anyone who thinks they have put themselves at risk of contracting HIV should contact their GP or a sexual health clinic at the earliest opportunity."
There are currently over 58,000 people living with HIV in the UK and an estimated 19,700 who remain unaware of their infection and therefore undiagnosed.
According to UNAids, the number of people living with HIV worldwide is 40.3 million.
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