Public Health England (PHE)’s latest statistics have revealed that the rates of new HIV diagnoses in the United Kingdom have dropped for the second year in a row. There was a 17% decline in the new diagnoses of HIV in 2017 compared with the previous year.
The trend of decline in HIV diagnoses started in 2015, a 28% drop in new HIV diagnoses was observed between 2015 and 2017. Lower rates of HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men were primarily responsible for this reduction. Uptake of HIV testing was high in this risk group, especially repeat HIV testing among men with a higher risk. The decline in diagnoses has also been significantly driven by an increased uptake of antiretroviral therapy.
Heterosexuals of black African and Caribbean ethnicity have witnessed a steady decline in new HIV diagnoses during the past 10 years. In 2017, heterosexuals from other ethnicities witnessed a decline in new HIV diagnoses for the first time.
In its bid to control HIV by 2030, PHE is collaborating with other government and third sector organisations and these latest figures are a sign of its success.