A new paper has calculated that the number of gay men in England and Wales who become infected with HIV each year remained unchanged between 2001 and 2010. This is despite a considerable increase in testing and, they estimate, a 40% reduction in the proportion of gay men with HIV who are undiagnosed. The paper concludes that, in England and Wales at least, the proportion of gay men with HIV who are on treatment and with undetectable viral loads is currently too low to bring about a decline in annual HIV incidence in this population. As well as extending HIV testing to non-traditional settings and urging gay men to test more frequently, the authors conclude that “the initiation of treatment on diagnosis, regardless of CD4 count, might well be necessary to achieve control of HIV transmission”, and welcome the new BHIVA treatment guidelines’ recommendation “that clinicians discuss the benefits of early treatment uptake as a prophylaxis to protect sexual partners” as a step towards this.
The full paper can be read here