HIV Cases Soar by a Third

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sara Wallis

Big leap in those treated

New figures have revealed the number of people living with HIV in the North East has leapt by a third.

According to the report published today by the Health Protection Agency, more than 500 people in the region are receiving treatment for the disease, up 33%.

Focus on Prevention, the Agency's annual report on HIV and sexually-transmitted infections, also shows HIV is now a greater threat to women.

Nationally 37,079 people nationally received HIV-related healthcare in 2003, of which 542 were living in the North East. This compares to 409 the previous year.

Of those receiving treatment in the North East, the proportion of infections acquired by heterosexual men and women increased from 45% in 2002 to 49% in 2003, although the majority were acquired abroad.

The proportion of infections acquired by gay or bisexual men being treated in the North East reduced from 45% in 2002 to 41% in 2003, the majority of which were acquired in the UK.

Nationally there were 6,606 new HIV infections diagnosed in 2003, of which 136 were in the North East, a local increase of 40 on the previous year. …