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People In The UK Living With HIV Reaches A Record High
News from HPA (Health Protection Agency) has disclosed that almost 100,000 people have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the UK. Also it is believed that as many 25% more are unaware that they are HIV positive. This is the highest that it has ever been since it was highlighted in the early 80’s.

In 2011 HIV was diagnosed in 6,280 people. It was also said that over half of the cases were infected whilst in the UK, whereas nine years before it was only 27%. Results also showed that homosexual males acquiring the virus had increased as well, 3,010 were recorded. As many as 1 in 20 males that have same sex encounters in the UK have HIV, with the number rising alarmingly to 1 in 12 amongst those in the London area. This said almost half the cases were from heterosexual relationships.

HIV does cause erectile dysfunction problems as the HIV infection can affect sexual activity; this also includes some of the antiretroviral medication. Viagra and Cialis tablets are able to help with ED suffered by HIV patients with advice sought from a health practitioner.

Dr Valerie Delpech works for the HPA in her capacity as a consultant epidemiologist, monitoring HIV cases in UK. The increase in HIV cases is a marker that people still need to be reminded about safe sex regimes and that programmes that are in place are still upheld.

'The good news is that with the excellent services and treatments available nowadays, if diagnosed and treated early someone with HIV can look forward to a normal lifespan, as well as protecting their sexual partners from infection. That's why it is vitally important that anyone who has been at risk gets an HIV test, and that those in higher risk groups get screened regularly.' said Dr Delpech.

It is not only those at risk that need to be educated still on the importance of how to avoid acquiring HIV, but also Doctors, so that screening tests and advice is offered to patients.

National HIV testing week was held between 23-30 November this year in a precursor to World AIDs Day that falls on the 1st December each year. It was the first time that a week has been dedicated to getting anyone that wanted the test to come forward and have it done.

There are certain groups of people that carry a higher chance of getting HIV; this tends to be from the African community, bisexual and homosexual men. Also more than 25% of these groups are not aware that they have HIV, so they could be spreading the infection unknowingly.

This is a preventable disease and those unfortunate enough to acquire it, can with early detection and medication lead a long and normal life. Regular testing is the main way to ensure that you have not got it and that you are not passing it on, also protecting yourself against it being transmitted.
It is the recent rise of cases amongst the heterosexual population that is more worrying, as it has been thirty years almost since the hugely publicised scare stories of epidemics pointed at the gay sector of society. It has been mainly this community that has done the most good to educate, fund research and help stem its progress.

Written by Frances Cerulean

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