The NHS is braced for a sharp rise in patients seeking treatment for HIV, figures show.
Estimates predict 70,000 patients will need HIV care this year, rising to 74,600 in 2011. That compares to 65,319 patients seen for HIV care in 2009.
In 2005, the figure was 46,714, meaning 2011’s estimates suggest a 60% rise in just five years.
The figures were disclosed in a written Commons answer from health minister Anne Milton.
“The estimated numbers of diagnosed HIV-infected individuals receiving care in 2010 and 2011 [rounded to the nearest 100] have been extrapolated from the number of individuals seen for HIV care in the previous five years,” Ms Milton said.
“Between 2005 and 2009, the annual increase in the numbers of HIV care has been between 4,200 and 5,000 and the average annual increase has been used to estimate the numbers that will be seen in 2010 and 2011.”
According to the NHS Choices website, at the end of 2005 an estimated 63,500 adults aged over 15 were living with HIV in the UK. Of these, 20,100 (32%) did not know they were infected.
It also says the number of people living with HIV is rising each year as a result of more cases being diagnosed and people living longer as a result of more effective medication.