HIV rates on the rise

HIV rates in the east of England have seen a seven fold increase in the last ten years - the highest in the country, latest figures reveal.

HIV rates in the east of England have seen a seven fold increase in the last ten years - the highest in the country, latest figures reveal.

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) the region has seen a 573 per cent rise in the number of people being treated for the disease since 1998.

The figures, which show that 520 people in the east of England were newly diagnosed with HIV last year.

It brings the overall number of individuals now being treated for the disease up to 3,693 - compared to 549 in 1998.


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It is not yet known how many of these people are living in Suffolk or Essex but health bosses said the rise was down to better screening and longer life expectancy.

An NHS East of England spokeswoman said: “Better access to screening services, and therefore more people being screened, is partly accountable for the rise in people being diagnosed with this disease. The east of England also has the highest level of uptake for pregnant women being screened for HIV.

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“We are now much better at helping people to live with HIV through new treatments but there is no cure for this infection. HIV is preventable by practising safe sex and using a condom.”

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