New HIV diagnoses in the UK down 28% since 2015


  • Jo Whelan
  • Medical News
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New diagnoses of HIV in the UK fell from 6,271 in 2015 to 4,484 in 2018, a drop of 28%. Of these, 3,279 were males and 1,203 were females. The newly published figures from Public Health England show that the number of new diagnoses is at its lowest since 2000.

New HIV diagnoses have been declining in both gay/bisexual and heterosexual populations.

  • The steepest fall has been among men who have sex with men, where new diagnoses were down by 39% over the period.
  • New diagnoses among people who acquired HIV through heterosexual contact fell 24% from 2,304 in 2015 to 1,550 in 2018.
  • There were 94 diagnoses in people who inject drugs in 2018, and 834 cases where exposure category is currently undetermined.

The biggest falls have been among gay and bisexual men who are white (46% decrease from 2,353 in 2015 to 1,276 in 2018), born in the UK (down 46% from 1,627 in 2015 to 873 in 2018), aged 15 to 24 (down 47% from 505 in 2015 to 269 in 2018), and living in London (50% decrease from 1,459 in 2015 to 736 in 2018). In 2018, 39% of gay and bisexual men diagnosed with HIV were resident in London.

The continued decline of HIV diagnoses is largely due to the success of combination HIV prevention over the past decade, according to Public Health England. This includes HIV testing, condom provision, the scale-up of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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