Nearly half of all new cases of HIV in the North East were diagnosed late or very late in 2011.
Sean Murphy from the charity Body Positive North East said early detection rates are low because people are afraid to go for tests - but if the virus is caught early, they have nothing to fear.
More top news
Norwich have been promoted to the Premier League after a 2-0 victory against Middlesbrough at Wembley Stadium.
Mainly dry but rather cloudy to start this week. More unsettled by the end of the day Wednesday - stronger winds and showery rain
Many areas dry over the next few days with variable cloud and cooler airflow