Byline: By JEANETTE SCOTT email@example.com
HIV INFECTION rates in expectant mothers in Coventry are more than 20 times the original estimate.
The shocking figures are part of a growing city-wide epidemic that has seen the number of new cases rise dramatically.
A high number of people coming into the city from African countries which have widespread HIV-Aids problems, is one of the reasons given for the increase.
Yesterday the Evening Telegraph reported up to 300 Coventry people were suffering with HIV - which can develop into Aids - one of the fastest growing areas for infection in the UK.
But it emerged today that the real number is closer to 400, a figure that causes huge concern for one already over-stretched city doctor.
Dr Sris Allan, a consultant at Coventry and Warwickshire hospital's GU clinic, has been studying HIV and Aids trends for four years, in which time he has seen the number of people treated in his clinic increase dramatically.
As part of his study, Dr Allan had originally expected to find one infected pregnant woman every 18 months among the 5,000 giving birth every year.
But since 2000, the clinic team have had to treat 60 mothers and babies.
Dr Allan said: "It is very worrying to have much higher numbers than we expected. If we have one baby born with HIV the cost of looking after the baby into childhood and maybe into adulthood, although they probably wouldn't get that far, is a quarter of a million pounds per baby. All paid for by the NHS."
Infected mothers can be treated with anti-HIV drugs and if the baby is treated too for four weeks after birth the chance of infection is about one per cent. …