New epidemiological data for the East Midlands region: drop in new cases, but almost half diagnosed late


  • Jo Whelan
  • Medical News
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HIV remains an important public health problem in the East Midlands, according to the latest of Public Health England’s regional Epidemiological Spotlight series. There were an estimated 258 new HIV diagnoses in the region in 2017, down by 8% compared with 2016 and accounting for 6% of the total for England. A total of 4,838 people in the East Midlands are living with diagnosed HIV, a prevalence of 1.6 per 1000.

The new diagnosis rate in the region was 6.5 per 100,000 residents aged 15 or over, compared with 8.7 per 100,000 for England as a whole.

  • Heterosexual contact was the most common infection route, accounting for 58% of cases. Of these, 47% were in African-born persons and 27% in UK-born persons.
  • A third (35%) of new diagnoses were in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM); of the 91 diagnosed in this group, 84% were white and 65% were UK-born.
  • Injecting drug use accounted for 5% of new diagnoses in the region.

Late diagnosis (defined by a CD4 count of 3 at diagnosis) was a particular concern: 46% of diagnoses in the region in the period 2015 to 2017 were late, compared with 41% in England as a whole.

The East Midlands performed well on treatment targets: 97% of diagnosed residents were receiving anti-retroviral treatment, of whom 97% were classed as virally suppressed.

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