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HIV increasing in Brighton
People are becoming infected with HIV because they have lost their fear of the virus, a charity worker has warned.
Sue Peters, regional director of the Terrence Higgins Trust, said the charity was concerned at the number of older people in Brighton and Hove being diagnosed in recent years.
She said: “Part of the problem is that they feel they have lived through the period when the HIV/Aids campaigns were at their height and now they are going to be okay.
“The same issue is with younger people who may still not be aware of the dangers of what is a life long infection.
“I think people sometimes feel they are immune but they aren’t and it is something that concerns us.”
Figures published by the Health Protection Agency show the city now has the highest prevalence of infections in the country outside of London.
It has a rate of 7.6 per 1,000 of the population aged between 15 and 59.
Around 75 new people started using HIV/Aids services in the city this year, an increase of 5.7% since 2008.
A total of 1,381 are currently being treated although the actual figure may be higher because people may be infected without realising it.