People in Scunthorpe and district could have HIV without knowing it
HEALTH experts are warning that too many people living with HIV in North Lincolnshire remain undiagnosed.
New figures published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show there were 368 newly diagnosed cases of HIV reported in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in 2011 compared to 379 cases in 2010, although fewer than five of these were in North Lincolnshire.
But the latest regional figures estimate that a quarter of people with HIV remain unaware of their status.
The figures show that there were 5,025 people living with HIV in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2011 – of whom 58 are from North Lincolnshire.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
HPA Yorkshire and the Humber officials say they are concerned that the number of people with HIV diagnosed late is increasing in the region.
Dr Stephen Morton, regional director of HPA Yorkshire and the Humber, said: "HIV remains a major public health issue both nationally and in Yorkshire and the Humber, and the number of people who remain unaware of their infecting is a tremendous concern.
"It's important that these efforts to increase access to HIV testing are sustained and that testing is offered as part of a universal sexual health screen at every new attendance at genitourinary medicine clinics, or where patients receive care for a possible sexually transmitted infection.
"It's encouraging that in 2011, 77 per cent of all sexually transmitted infection clinic attendees in Yorkshire and Humberside received a HIV test and we must increase this figure further."
Jane Morel, regional manager for the north at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Thirty years on from the start of the epidemic, public understanding of HIV has dropped to a worrying level.
"As a result, we are starting to see a significant increase in the number of heterosexuals contracting the virus in the UK.
"It is important that everyone, no matter their age or background, understands that nobody is immune from infection."
National figures show nearly half of the people diagnosed with HIV last year were diagnosed late and after a point at which they should have started treatment.
Officials at the Terrence Higgins Trust say that someone who is diagnosed late, after the point at which they should have started treatment, is 10 times more likely to die within a year of receiving their diagnosis than someone who tests in good time.
Dr Suzanna Mathew, consultant in communicable disease control and sexual health lead for HPA Yorkshire and the Humber, said: "These figures are a reminder of how vital safe sex programmes remain, promoting HIV testing and condom use, to tackle the high rates of transmission, late diagnosis and undiagnosed HIV seen in the UK."