Localised screening could help tackle rising HIV diagnoses

23 March 2011

New research from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) shows that the number of new HIV cases being recorded has increased dramatically between 2001 and 2010 and experts are calling for localised screening to be carried out in problem areas.

HPA figures show that in 2001, less than 2,000 new cases of HIV were recorded by healthcare professionals - but this figure has almost doubled in the intervening decade.

As a result of the alarming rise, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued new guidelines to sexual health consultants and GPs across England.

Professor Mike Kelly from NICE said: "HIV is still a serious problem in this country, with a large proportion of people unaware they are infected.

"This new guidance from NICE makes a number of practical recommendations which aim to increase HIV testing."

NICE claimed that areas of London and Manchester, for example, would benefit from improved screening programmes.

According to Avert, the world's leading HIV and AIDS web portal, almost 90,000 people in the UK were living with HIV at the end of 2009.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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