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
The six-year-old from Newcastle has thanked strangers who paid for his cancer treatment so he could be here to meet his younger sibling.
County Durham topped the list with the highest number of complaints investigated by the RSPCA last year, totalling over three thousand.
A man who fitted a laser jammer to his Range Rover and raised his middle finger as he drove past speed cameras has been jailed.