National HIV Testing week
National HIV Testing Week provides amplified opportunities for individuals who would otherwise never test to do so and prompts all individuals at risk to get tested.
In the UK, people are testing more, staying protected by using condoms and Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), getting diagnosed and starting HIV treatment earlier. Thanks to this combination approach, the UK is witnessing a substantial decline in HIV diagnoses. In 2016, there was an 18% decline in new diagnoses from 6,286 in 2015 to 5,164 in 2016. This drop is especially high among men who have sex with men (MSM). The largest decline in diagnosis rates is in parts of London which have the highest testing rates and prompt access to treatment.
Testing, along with other prevention tools, is working. However, there are still challenges which remain, and we need to build upon this exciting progress in order to succeed in stopping HIV in the UK.
- In total one in eight people does not know that they have HIV.
- Late diagnosis leads to a tenfold increase of death within one year.
- Those who are undiagnosed spend an average of three to five years unaware they have the virus.
Facts and figures provided by Public Health England.