HIV diagnoses among gay men hit record high, despite overall decline

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The number of HIV diagnoses is still increasing for gay men – despite an overall drop across the UK.

Figures published today by Public Health England shows that 3,250 men who have sex with men were diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2013 – the highest ever figure.

The number is slightly up from the previous high of 3,230 diagnoses in 2012.

It also contrasts with the overall number of new diagnoses across the UK – which has fallen from 6,245 to 6,000.

HIV rates also fell for black Africans, with 1,260 diagnoses, down from 1,619 in 2012

The total number of people receiving care for HIV has now reached 81,512, with 527 deaths.

Yusef Azad of the National AIDS Trust said: “The Public Health England statistics for 2013 show a continuing high rate of new MSM HIV diagnoses in the UK – about nine gay and bisexual men are being told they have HIV every day.

“This reflects undiminished and significant levels of HIV transmission in our society amongst gay men.”

Last week, Oxford researchers confirmed for the first time that the HIV pandemic originated in the Congo in the 1920s.

Zoologist Oliver Pybus said that following research, “we can say with a high degree of certainty where and when the HIV pandemic originated”.

Controversial drug Truvada – which has already been used in the US to reduce the risk of HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men – is currently being tested in the UK.