New HIV diagnoses stats show an overall decrease – but not for gay men

Besi Besemar October 6, 2014

Public Health England (PHE) have released its 2013 HIV statistics, showing new HIV diagnoses amongst gay men have slightly increased, whilst new diagnoses overall are declining.

Public Health England

The 2013 stats show:

  • In the past ten years, new diagnoses amongst MSM aged 15-24 have almost doubled.
  • 3,250 men who have sex with men (MSM) were diagnosed with HIV, slightly up from 3,230 in 2012 (and the highest number ever)
  • 81,512 people are receiving HIV care, up from 77,590 in 2012
  • Overall, 6,000 people were diagnosed with HIV, compared to 6,245 in 2012
  • Deaths amongst people living with HIV declined to 527 from 556 in 2012
  • 1,260 black African people were diagnosed with HIV, down from 1,619 in 2012
  • In the past ten years, new diagnoses amongst the over 50s have almost doubled

The latest PHE figures come after a recent campaign by a coalition of LGBT organisations which called on political leaders to improve sex and relationships education in schools. These figures highlight the urgent need to make LGBT-inclusive Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) statutory in all schools.

Yusef Azad
Yusef Azad

Yusef Azad, director of policy and campaigns at National AIDS Trust (NAT), said: “The Public Health England statistics for 2013 show a continuing high rate of new MSM HIV diagnoses in theUK – about nine  gay and bisexual men are being told they have HIV every day. This reflects undiminished and significant levels of HIV transmission in our society amongst gay men.

The stastics also reveal that in 2004, 43% of gay men were diagnosed late, in 2013 that proportion is down to 31%.
while in 2012, 34% of gay men were diagnosed late, in 2013 that proportion is down to 31%.

Yusef Azad, added: “There continues to be an encouraging decline in the proportion of gay men diagnosed with HIV late – from 43% in 2004 to 31% in 2013. Being diagnosed late, which usually means you have had HIV for at least four years, can have a serious impact on your health, potentially leading to a shorter life expectancy, worse health outcomes and in some cases death soon after diagnosis.”

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