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.
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The trophy started at Hadrian's Wall before passing through Hexham and Newcastle on its way to Alnwick.
Andrew Pullan's canoe capsized and he was pulled under the water near Barnard Castle in October 2013.
298 people were killed in the atrocity including Newcastle United fans Liam Sweeney & John Alder.