Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

HIV/AIDS

Big drop in new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men

Public Health England credits better testing and uptake of anti-retroviral therapy, as well as the use of the preventative PrEP among gay and bisexual men, while among heterosexual men and women late-stage HIV infection diagnosis remained high.

antiretroviral prep pill hiv ss 17

Source: Shutterstock.com

Use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, medication contributing to big drop in new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men, according to Public Health England

The number of new diagnoses of HIV fell among gay and bisexual men in England last year, with the steepest drop seen in London.

According to the latest figures published by Public Health England (PHE), across the country there was an 18 per cent drop in the number of people newly diagnosed with HIV from 2015 to 2016.

The number of new diagnoses among gay and bisexual men had been rising steadily since 2007, but there was a 21 per cent drop in the number of cases last year from 3,750 in 2015 to 2,810 last year.

In parts of London the figure fell even more sharply with a 29 per cent decrease from 1,554 in 2015 to 1,096 last year.

Gay, bisexual and other men that have sex with men account for half of all people living with HIV in England and from the group most at risk of acquiring HIV, according to PHE.

The report credited increased testing, improvements in the uptake of anti-retroviral (ART) HIV therapy and the use of preventative drug PrEP as the combined factors contributing to the downward trend.

Previously, new infections in the UK had remained at around 3,000 every year in the five years up to 2015.

The PHE report cited the new figures as ‘the most exciting development in the UK HIV epidemic in 20 years, when effective treatment became readily available.’

However, PHE warned that late-stage HIV infection diagnosis remained high, particularly among heterosexual men and women.

Commenting on the findings Ian Green, chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Today’s figures show we’ve started something — we’re beginning to see the reversal of the HIV epidemic in some communities in the UK.

“HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men, one of the groups most affected, are declining; showing what can be achieved when we utilise all the weapons in our arsenal against HIV transmission. This includes access to condoms, testing, PrEP and diagnosing and treating people as early as possible so they can become uninfectious.

“But this is no time for complacency. We must keep this momentum going so we can see the same progress in other communities and bring the epidemic to an end.

“These new stats still show cause for concern, with late diagnoses worryingly high — putting people’s health at risk and meaning they can unwittingly pass on the virus.’

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203668

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Drugs in Use

    Drugs in Use

    Optimise drug therapy for your patients. These case studies help you bridge the gap between theoretical medicines knowledge and practical applications.

    £42.00Buy now
  • Basic Pharmacokinetics

    Basic Pharmacokinetics

    A clear and concise basic pharmacokinetics textbook. Shows how to apply the principles to achieve successful drug therapy.

    £52.00Buy now
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    A practical reference source on alternative and complementary therapies. Enables healthcare professionals to give knowledge-based advice.

    £42.00Buy now
  • Workplace Drug Testing

    Workplace Drug Testing

    Explains drug testing regulatory frameworks and all aspects of drug analysis. Case studies of successful programmes are included.

    £79.00Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Capsules

    Pharmaceutical Capsules

    Covers all aspects of capsule technology. An essential resource for all those involved in the development, manufacture and testing of capsules.

    £68.00Buy now
  • Suppositories

    Suppositories

    A detailed review of suppository dosage forms. For all those involved in the formulation, development, manufacture and testing of suppositories.

    £69.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • antiretroviral prep pill hiv ss 17

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.