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Monday 28th May 2018

20,000 with HIV undiagnosed

22nd November 2006

15052006_aids1.jpgAs many as a third of people with HIV in the UK may be unaware they are infected, say experts.

Statistics show there is a growing number of Britons living with HIV and Aids, with around 63,500 adults in 2005.

The annual report from the Health Protection Agency also reveals cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to rise.

The HPA says most new HIV cases in 2005 were infected abroad, but more cases are being contracted in the UK.

Two thirds of all new HIV cases diagnosed last year were contracted in other countries where the virus is more prevalent, such as sub-Saharan Africa. A third were among gay and bisexual men.

The report shows a small rise in the number of people diagnosed in 2005, with 7,450 diagnoses compared to 7,275 in 2004.

People are now living longer with the disease, thanks to advances in treatment. The earlier the disease is diagnosed and the quicker treatment can begin, the better the life expectancy.

Campaigners have called for more widespread testing to reduce the numbers of people living undiagnosed.

2005 saw 790,443 STIs diagnosed in clinics in the UK compared to 767,785 in 2004.

While gonorrhoea diagnoses fell by 13%, syphilis cases increased by 23%. Three quarters of chlamydia cases were diagnosed in 16 to 24-year-olds.

The government launched its £4m in a sexual health campaign in October.

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