Decline in number of HIV cases reported

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THE number of new diagnoses of HIV in gay and bisexual men in the south east has declined.

Figures from Public Health England show the area has seen a 10 per cent decline from 259 men in 2015 to 233 last year.

Nationally, there has been a 21 per cent decline dropping from 3,570 in 2015 to 2,810 in 2016.

Overall, there were 5,164 new HIV diagnoses reported in the UK and 490 in the south east. This is an 18 per cent fall year-on-year nationally and an eight per cent fall for the region.

In Portsmouth, 279 people are accessing HIV-related care while the figure for Hampshire is 809.

Dr Valerie Delpech, head of HIV surveillance at Public Health England, said: ‘This is the first time since the beginning of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s that we have seen a decline in new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men.

‘It is clear evidence that HIV prevention efforts are working.

‘Our success in reducing transmission is due to high levels of condom use and a sharp rise in the number of men testing for HIV each year.’