Practices urged to offer HIV tests to new patients

Health professionals should offer HIV testing to all men and women aged 15 to 59 who are registering in general practice or admitted for medical care, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

An estimated 77,400 people were living with HIV in the UK in 2007 with 28% unaware of their infection.

This compares with the estimated 73,000 reported to be living with the infection in 2006.

In 2007 there were 7,734 new diagnoses of HIV - a similarly high figure to previous years (7,334 in 2006).

31% are being diagnosed with HIV late - at a point after which therapy should have begun - which means that they are missing out on the benefits associated with early diagnosis including prolonged life expectancy.

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