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Shock rise in HIV cases among gay men

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More than 7,000 new cases of HIV were diagnosed last year, including the second highest ever number of new diagnoses among gay men, figures from the Health Protection Agency have revealed.

2,830 of the estimated 7,370 new HIV cases were diagnosed among gay men, marginally lower than 2007’s high of 3,050, but still the second highest since recording began.

The HPA said it was too early to say whether the number of new HIV cases among gay men had peaked, or whether there was a delay in reporting.

An emphasis on the importance of HIV testing among high risk groups may have contributed to the current high figures among gay men, the HPA said.

Although diagnoses of HIV through heterosexual sex decreased last year, this is mainly due to a fall in cases contracted abroad, and the number of new HIV diagnoses infected heterosexually in the UK rose from 500 in 2007, to an estimated 1,090 last year.

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