Official data from Public Health England confirms a number of previous reports – HIV diagnoses in gay men last year fell significantly for the first time throughout the UK since antiretroviral therapy started becoming available 20 years ago.
- Overall, in all social groups and all parts of the country, new HIV diagnoses fell by 18%.
- This was driven by a 29% drop in diagnoses in gay men in London.
- Elsewhere, there was an 11% drop in diagnoses in gay men in England.
“… the decline is driven by large increases in HIV tests among gay and bisexual men attending sexual health clinics including repeat testing in higher risk men, as well as improvements in the uptake of antiretroviral therapy following HIV diagnosis. Other factors, including sustained high condom use with casual partners and internet access of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), will also have contributed to the downturn in HIV diagnoses in this group.”
Diagnoses among heterosexual men and women have been declining for several years, but mostly because of the impact of lower immigration from high-prevalence countries.
National AIDS Trust (NAT) said the results were proof that combining frequent testing, early treatment and PrEP can successfully reduce HIV.
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