New figures reveal Brighton and Hove's HIV rate

Almost one in every 100 people aged 15 to 59 in Brighton and Hove is HIV positive, new figures suggest.

A report published by the Health Protection Agency today gives the city a diagnosed HIV prevalence rate of 7.6 per 1,000 people in this age group.

It says 1,387 people out of an estimated population of 182,700 are receiving treatment – but experts estimate that hundreds more are unaware that they are carrying the virus. The city has the highest prevalence of people with HIV outside of London.

It is recommended that any areas with a prevalence rate of more than two per 1,000 should work to increase the number of people being tested for HIV. Crawley, Lewes, Worthing and Eastbourne all have rates of between two and three per 1,000.

Stephen Nicholson, NHS Sussex’s lead commissioner for HIV and sexual health in Brighton and Hove, said the figures were a crude estimate.

He said HIV infection rates were not equally distributed across the city and the vast majority of cases were among the city’s gay population.

Safe sex programmes

He said: “We are doing a large amount of work to increase early diagnosis of HIV and increase access to HIV testing in community settings.”

Professor Jackie Cassell, an honorary consultant in health protection at the HPA in the south east, said: “These figures are a reminder how vital safe sex programmes remain.

“We must continue to promote HIV testing and condom use, in order to tackle the high rates of transmission, late diagnosis and undiagnosed HIV still seen in the UK.

“The good news is that with the excellent services and treatments available nowadays, if diagnosed and treated early someone with HIV can look forward to a normal lifespan, as well as protecting their sexual partners from infection.

“That’s why it is vitally important that anyone who has been at risk gets an HIV test, and that those in higher risk groups get tested regularly.”

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Comments (4)

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5:59pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Old Ladys Gin says...

I make that less than 1 percent of the population as against 10 percent of the country infected by syphilis in the 1950s.
I make that less than 1 percent of the population as against 10 percent of the country infected by syphilis in the 1950s. Old Ladys Gin

8:10pm Thu 29 Nov 12

george smith says...

Amazing, are they all on medication?
Amazing, are they all on medication? george smith

8:36pm Thu 29 Nov 12

sussexram40 says...

1,387 are on medication it says. But all the undiagnosed people who make up the numbers obviously won't be. I think that's the bigger problem - not on medication means much more likely to spread it about as they will have a lot more of the virus in their bodies.
1,387 are on medication it says. But all the undiagnosed people who make up the numbers obviously won't be. I think that's the bigger problem - not on medication means much more likely to spread it about as they will have a lot more of the virus in their bodies. sussexram40

9:45am Fri 30 Nov 12

Morpheus says...

sussexram40 wrote:
1,387 are on medication it says. But all the undiagnosed people who make up the numbers obviously won't be. I think that's the bigger problem - not on medication means much more likely to spread it about as they will have a lot more of the virus in their bodies.
How much virus do you need to pass it on? The issue is that they don't know that they have it and therefore may be less likely to use condoms.
[quote][p][bold]sussexram40[/bold] wrote: 1,387 are on medication it says. But all the undiagnosed people who make up the numbers obviously won't be. I think that's the bigger problem - not on medication means much more likely to spread it about as they will have a lot more of the virus in their bodies.[/p][/quote]How much virus do you need to pass it on? The issue is that they don't know that they have it and therefore may be less likely to use condoms. Morpheus

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