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HIV cases double in over 50s


New figures have shown that rates of HIV cases in people over the age of 50 have doubled in the last seven years.

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According to the data, the number of new cases of HIV in the UK was 299 in 2000. But by 2007, that number had risen to 710. Of those, half we diagnosed late, increasing a person’s chances of an early death as a result of Aids.

The study showed that in younger age groups, a third of people with HIV get the disease identified at a similar level of progression. And the research showed that 75% of deaths among people aged 50 or over, with the HIV infection, occurred within 12 months of being diagnosed. Compared with younger adults carrying the virus, older people were significantly more likely to have been infected through sex with men.

Older “straight” adults were more likely to acquire the virus in the UK, but there was evidence of white heterosexual men picking up the infection abroad.

Ruth Smith, a senior HIV scientist at the Health Protection Agency’s Centre for Infections, said: “We must continually reinforce the safe sex message - using a condom with all new or casual partners is the surest way to ensure people do not become infected with a serious sexually transmitted infection such as HIV.”

The findings are published online in the journal AIDS and were presented at the International Aids Conference in Vienna.  


Readers' comments (4)

  • Name the countries abroad. Although a lot of 'straight' men may say they contracted HIV abroad when they could of caught it here. The amount of men who have sex with men (usually anomymous sex) and who insist they are straight because they have a female partner is unbelievable.

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  • Doesn't say for P.C. reasons what the breakdown of the cases is either. Immigration between here and sub saharan Africa went up between 2000 and 2007, I'm pretty sure the graph of new cases following immigration from those countries is almost on the same line.

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  • We had a case recently of a person from elsewhere knowingly infecting two women
    and we are allowed to do nothing. He was an illegal getting treatment on the nhs because he was homeless..we were allowed to tell the police of his status..and guess what?

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  • I believe there is no current scientific evidence to support the theory that 'Stella' has any direct influence upon the transmission of HIV.

    It may however, cause some brain damage, though in some cases as above - this is merely by association.

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