- Britain is on track to meet the ambition set out in January 2019 to reduce new HIV infections by 80% by 2025 and end new infections by 2030.
- Diagnosed cases of HIV fell by almost a third between 2019 and 2021 and by more than a fifth for AIDS
- A £20 million grant committed by NHS England to expand HIV rejection testing in areas with the highest prevalence has helped diagnose 2,000 new cases of the blood-borne virus in its first year of the program
New HIV infections in the UK have fallen by almost a third since 2019, while few people are unaware of their HIV status due to increased testing across the country, according to an update on the Action Plan. UK HIV Action announced today.
As part of the HIV Action Plan, NHS England is investing £20 million over the three years 2022/23 to 2024/25 to expand blood-borne virus removal testing in emergency departments. The study was conducted in local government areas across the country with the highest HIV prevalence: London, Brighton, Manchester, Salford and Blackpool. A report released today shows that the expanded test helped diagnose 2,000 cases of the blood-borne virus – including 343 people living with HIV – in the program’s first year.
Another key commitment is the investment of more than £3.5 million to implement the National HIV Program from 2021 to 2024 to raise awareness of HIV testing and prevention strategies as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Reducing HIV transmission when undiagnosed through testing not only provides access to life-saving treatment, but also means that people with undetectable levels of the virus will not be able to transmit HIV. During National HIV Testing Week 2023, nearly 22,000 HIV test kits were ordered – the first available self-test kits (for at-home results).
Health Secretary Neil O’Brien said:
It is encouraging to see the progress made so far in our goal of ending new HIV transmission as well as AIDS and HIV related deaths in the UK by 2030.
Since the HIV Action Plan was launched in 2019, we have worked hard to reduce new infections by addressing stigma and calling for more people to get tested, as well as helping people have access to potentially life-saving treatments.
Regardless of sexual orientation – everyone should be tested for HIV regularly, so we can reduce infection rates even further.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Chief Government Adviser on HIV and Chair of the Steering Group for the Implementation of the HIV Action Plan said:
It is positive to see the number of new HIV diagnoses continue to fall, but our work is not done – late HIV diagnoses remain high in the UK, which sadly increases the risk of death.
Improving quality of life for people living with HIV and addressing stigma are key goals of our HIV Action Plan and we will continue to work with UKHSA and key distribution partners to understand , measure and address stigma in all its forms.
We are grateful to our many partners from government, the NHS, local authorities and communities across the country who are working together to accelerate the action plan’s progress. Only through collective action, focused on ending HIV transmission, can we succeed.”
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is for people who are HIV-negative but may be at higher risk for HIV – for example, people with HIV-positive sex partners.
To improve PrEP adoption, the PrEP Access and Equity Task and Ending Group – established in September 2022 and chaired by the Association of Public Health Directors and the Terrence Higgins Trust – has gathered evidence to help break down barriers for those eligible to access treatment. Recommendations were presented to the HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group and will inform the development of a road map to improve access and equity of PrEP.
According to the HIV Action Plan monitoring and evaluation framework published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in December 2022, it is estimated that the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV in the UK has decreased by more than one thousand people from 2019 to 2021, from 5,600 to 4,400. .
The number of people going to sexual health services because their partner received an HIV positive diagnosis also nearly halved during the same time period, from 1,558 to 820.
Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at the UK Health Security Service, said:
The end of HIV transmission is imminent in the UK, but increasing testing, access to preventive measures including PrEP and helping people diagnosed with HIV start HIV treatment earlier is very important. important to achieve this goal. Treatment if you are living with HIV so that the virus is undetectable will prevent transmission.
Regardless of your gender or sexual orientation, getting tested regularly, using condoms, and PrEP (if you qualify) are essential to protecting the health of you and your partner.
To accelerate progress, a National HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group (HIVAP ISG) has been established and chaired by Professor Kevin Fenton, who has also been appointed Chief Advisor of the government on HIV. The National HIV Action Plan Implementation Steering Group includes all key partners, including the voluntary sector.
DHSC has also established a Community Advisory Group, chaired by the National AIDS Trust and the LGBT Foundation, to advise the Steering Group for the Implementation of the HIV Action Plan during the life of the Action Plan. HIV.
Many regions of the country have replicated this national action regionally, providing leadership and oversight of the work being done in local systems. This has seen Regional HIV Action Plans developed in regions such as the South West, working groups established in the Midlands, inventory of testing and action through the Network. sexual health in the South East, North East and Yorkshire, or a Regional HIV Action Planning Workshop such as in the East of England.