Northern Ireland saw the UK’s biggest rise in new HIV diagnoses between 2000 and 2012 – a rise of 384% figures from Public Health England show.
Figures from Public Health England (PHE), the organisation that replaced the Health Protection Agency (HPA), show that whilst there were 19 diagnoses of HIV across Northern Ireland in 2000, that number has soared over three fold to 92 diagnoses per year in 2012.
This is in stark contrast to other regions of the UK which have seen much smaller increases over those twelve years. London saw an increase of 18.3%, the West Midlands 93.2% and Manchester 6.2%. The UK as a whole has seen HIV diagnoses increase by 46.9% over the twelve year period – which puts Northern Ireland at 674% higher than the National average.
Northern Irish HIV charity, Positive Life, said in a letter today to the Belfast Telegraph that there was need for more education in the UK, and especially in Northern Ireland:
“We welcome the positive role the UK is playing in helping to tackle HIV and Aids on a global level. However, we agree it is vitally important there is accurate and widely available information on HIV prevention and treatment, as well as robust and effective services for people affected by HIV in Northern Ireland.”
You can find more information on Positive Life at their website – www.positivelifeni.com
Figures taken from Public Health England’s ‘United Kingdom New HIV diagnoses to end of December 2012’ report – LINK