HIV diagnoses on the rise

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New quarterly figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) have confirmed that the number of reported HIV diagnoses in 2005 currently stands at 6727, and the final figure is expected to rise and exceed that of 2004.

Lisa Power, Head of Policy at Terrence Higgins Trust said “From this data it seems the number of people newly diagnosed in 2005 is likely to be higher than the previous year, yet again.

“Despite the priority given by the government to sexual health, greater attention is needed at local level to turn the tide. It is vital that money intended for HIV and sexual health services is not re-routed as it has been in the past.”

The new figures also indicated that HIV diagnoses reported for the first quarter of 2006 are a fifth higher than those received during the same period in 2005. However, these figures should be interpreted with caution as they will be strongly influenced by reporting patterns and the ratio will change as the year progresses.

Last week a lobbying event organised by National Union of Students (NUS UK) and the Terrence Higgins Trust, students from across the UK, including LGBT officers (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) described the difficulties they face in accessing sexual healthcare, from long waiting times at GUM clinics to a lack of free condoms.