‘UK meets global HIV targets as diagnoses keep falling’

BBC News reports:

HIV diagnoses are continuing to fall in the UK as it meets UN targets on diagnosis, treatment and transmission for the first time, according to a report from Public Health England.

It said there was no doubt prevention efforts to end the HIV epidemic were working.

New HIV diagnoses in the UK fell by 17% from 2016 to 2017, with spread among gay and bisexual men declining.

HIV charities said real progress was being made in the fight against HIV.

Latest figures on HIV infections from PHE show that last year both England and the UK overall met three important targets of 90% set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids).

  • 92% of people living with HIV infection in the UK being diagnosed
  • 98% of people diagnosed receiving treatment
  • 97% of people receiving treatment, leaving them unable to pass on the infection

Overall, 87% of people living with HIV in the UK were estimated to have an undetectable viral load and therefore be unable to infect others.

Countries around the world were given a deadline of 2020 but the UK met the targets in 2017.

The UK’s success was down to more HIV testing, increased condom use and people starting their treatment sooner, PHE said.

The availability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep), a daily pill that disables HIV before it gets a stranglehold in the body, could also be a factor.

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