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HIV threat remains

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Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency estimate 73,000 adults are now living in the UK with HIV.

Of that figure, the agency said 21,600 remain unaware of their HIV status. Data gathered so far suggests there were approximately 7,800 newly diagnosed cased of HIV in 2006, 100 less than the previous year.

Dr Valerie Delpech, head of HIV surveillance at the agency, said: ‘In recent years we have seen steady increases in all sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in gay men and since 2003, the number of HIV diagnoses reported annually has consistently increased and exceeded the annual number of diagnoses throughout the 1980s and 1990s.’

Professor Pete Borriello, director of the HPA’s centre for infections, added: ‘We need to reinforce the safe sex message for gay men, young adults and the broader community. The sooner HIV and other STIs are diagnosed and treated, the less likely it is they will be passed on.’

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