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The town of Hastings, East Sussex has been classified as a “high prevalence area”, one of 63 in the UK, after a sharp increase in cases in the last decade

Hastings is now one of 63 areas of high HIV prevalence in the UK, with one-in-495 people in the area now living with HIV as opposed to the national average of one-in-650.

The number of people living with HIV in the town has risen by 236% in the last decade according to newly released figure from Public Health England (PHE).

The Director for Policy and Campaigns at The National AIDS Trust (NAT), Yusef Azad, said: “Getting tested could mean the difference between being healthy and having a normal lifespan and getting seriously ill. Late diagnosis unnecessarily reduces your chances of living a long and healthy life, so ensuring you know your HIV status is vital.”

Of the people who were diagnosed HIV-positive in the Hastings area in 2012 half of them were diagnosed late, which means they were diagnosed after the point that they should have already started treatment. This can have serious implications on your ongoing health and life expectancy.

People in the area can find out more about getting tested at  www.eastsussexsexualhealth.co.uk

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