'Record number' live with HIV

The Health Protection Agency said a record number of people in the UK are living with HIV. About 96,000 people have the virus, according to the HPA's latest figures.

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HIV charity: Virus is 'entirely preventable condition'

The Chief Executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust highlighted that HIV is "an entirely preventable condition" and regular testing can halt the spread of the virus.

Sir Nick Partridge 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 acquiring the virus in the UK.

It is important that everyone, no matter their age or background, understands that nobody is immune from infection.

Sir Nick also urged people in high-risk groups to undergo regular HIV testing.

HIV figures 'reminder' safe sex programmes are vital

The Health Protection Agency's head of HIV surveillance, Dr Valerie Delpech, said the record number of people in the UK living with the virus is a "reminder" of how vital safe sex programmes remain.

Dr Delpech said:

Promoting HIV testing and condom use is crucial to tackling 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.

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Health agency: Record number in UK living with HIV

A record number of people in the UK are living with HIV, new figures released today show.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said there are around 96,000 people who have the virus - an all-time high.

But health officials have warned that a quarter of people who have the virus are not aware they have been infected.

A record number of people in the UK are living with HIV, according to HPA figures Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

In 2011, 6,280 were people diagnosed with HIV, the HPA said. Nearly half of those diagnoses were acquired heterosexually.

Of these, more than half were probably acquired in the UK compared to only 27 percent in 2002, according to the HPA report.

Black African people are also at a higher risk, the agency said, with 37 per 1,000 living with the infection - overall HIV prevalence in the UK was 1.5 per 1,000 people, it added.

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