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UK News: New HIV cases rise 30pct in one year #HIV #AIDS

UK News: New HIV cases rise 30pct in one year #HIV #AIDS

Anyone who says that HIV isn’t a problem, well, I have some words for you: wake UP!

HIV infections in London’s men who have sex with men have risen sharply from 2011 to 2012, according to the latest government statistics. Tony Kirby and Michelle Thornber-Dunwell report.
In January this year, The Lancetreported concerns over high-risk drug practices in the London gay scene, including smoking, injecting, or snorting of party drugs such as crystal methamphetamine (crystal meth) and mephedrone, often in combination with sex parties. Serious concerns existed about these behaviours leading to an increase in new HIV infections, hepatitis C (HCV) infections, or both.
Latest statistics from Public Health England (PHE) show that HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) are indeed soaring. In January, 1296 new HIV infections were thought to have occurred in London’s MSM in 2011; but more recent data from PHE, which reflect the latest information submitted by sexual health services, have updated this 2011 figure to 1420 new infections. The latest figure for 2012 is 1720 new HIV infections in London’s MSM, an increase of 21% on the 2011 number. However, based on how data has been updated over time in previous years, the final 2012 figure could easily rise to 1900 or more, a rise of at least 33% compared with 2011. Whatever the final number, experts agree that London has a serious problem. Overall in the UK, there were 3240 new infections in MSM in 2012, a rise of 8% on the 2011 figure of 3010. When each newly diagnosed person eventually begins antiretroviral treatment, the cost to the UK National Health Service is around £11 400 per patient, per year.
Some of the 2011—12 rise can be attributed to increased HIV testing, with 43 404 tests in London MSM in 2012, a rise of 17% on the 2011 figure of 37 010. Valerie Delpech, head of HIV surveillance at PHE, says: “The latest data show that the year on year increase in new HIV diagnoses amongst gay men continued in 2012, with a concerning rise seen in London. The good news is that increased HIV testing in recent years accounts for some of this rise, however the scale of the increase seen shows us that high rates of transmission are ongoing.” She adds: “There is anecdotal evidence from drug and alcohol clinics in London that recreational or club drug use amongst gay men is a growing issue, which warrants further investigation. PHE, in collaboration with London clinics, is initiating enhanced behavioural surveillance amongst gay men likely to have acquired their infection in the 6 months before diagnosis, to explore this issue.”
Sadly, the study doesn’t seem to mention any instances of trying to combat the source of the problem they identify: the high risk behaviours that accompany the drug use.  Seems to me they’re trying to close the barn door after the horse escapes.

 

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