The Sussex Beacon’s response to the Public Health England ‘HIV in the United Kingdom: 2016 Report’ and NICE Guidelines on routine HIV testing launched today.

The Public Health England report, published today shows that in 2015, an estimated 101,200 people were living with HIV in the UK.  Of those people, 13,500 or 13% were unaware of their infection and at risk of passing on the virus to others.

The local picture
Locally, there were 2,824 people with diagnosed HIV in Sussex (this figure is for residents aged 15 – 59 accessing HIV related care in 2015), this includes 1,544 in Brighton and Hove, which is one of the areas of highest prevalence in the UK. Over 41% of those newly diagnosed with HIV in the South of England were diagnosed late.

NICE and Public Health England have recommended HIV testing is routinely offered to millions of people living in areas with a high prevalence of HIV.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said:

“To effectively tackle HIV locally we need to encourage more people in Sussex to get tested. Routine testing in high prevalence areas would be a great approach and may identify people who might otherwise ‘fall through the net’ and end up being diagnosed very late. In the meantime, if you think you might have been at risk please consider taking a test as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment means people can live long, healthy lives with HIV, but the first step is taking that test. There’s support available for anyone testing positive, so you won’t be facing it alone.”

To find out where to test in Sussex, please visit www.startswithme.org.uk

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care to over 500 people living with HIV a year, offering both inpatient and outpatient services to improve health and promote independence. Recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the independent health regulator, The Sussex Beacon provides first class care and support to those in need. To find out more visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk

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