Screen call as HIV rates soar

PUBLISHED: 15:21 06 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:25 10 June 2010

THE Terrence Higgins Trust is calling for a national screening programme for HIV – as infection rates in the South West hit record numbers.

THE Terrence Higgins Trust is calling for a national screening programme for HIV - as infection rates in the South West hit record numbers.

At the end of 2008, there were 2,580 people with diagnosed HIV in the South West. This is a 10 per cent increase from 2007.

In addition, 27 per cent of people with HIV in the region remain undiagnosed, so have HIV without knowing it.

In response to the data, Steve Jones, regional manager for the Terrence Higgins Trust in the South West, said: "The level of undiagnosed HIV in the country is completely unacceptable.

"With early diagnosis and effective treatment, most people with HIV can live to old age. If left undiagnosed, they will die earlier, be significantly more ill and more likely to infect others.

"HIV testing is easy, quick and saves lives. There should be more testing in more settings, and we need the political will to make this happen."

Terrence Higgins Trust is calling on the Government to introduce a national targeted screening programme to halve undiagnosed HIV in the UK by 2014.

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