Official figures released this week shows that as many as one in 5 people with HIV, are unaware that they have the virus. This emphasises the need for routine and regular HIV screening and supports the growing support for testing of all patients coming through A&E
In addition to this news, the figures released show that there has been 3250 new HIV diagnosis made in men who have sex with men, in the past year. This is up from 3010 the previous year. The total amount of diagnoses for HIV in 2012 was 6360, up one percent from the previous year, with around half of those diagnosis made late in the infection, which means that those people are more at risk of infecting others, as they do not know they have HIV.

The amount of new infections in heterosexual men and women went up from 2990 in 2011 to 3110 in 2012 and it is estimated that around half of these new infections were picked up in the UK, up from 27% in 2000. The prevalence of HIV remains much higher in London than in the rest of the UK.

In total around 98400 people in the UK are living with HIV and as many as 21900 are not aware of the fact that they are infected

It is clear from the above that more work is needed to curb the spread of this epidemic. Testing early and routine testing for people at risk can save lives, as the treatments out there are very effective in reducing the amount of virus. Not only does treatment save the lives of the people infected, but it reduces the risk of spreading the disease.

With World AIDS day coming up this is a stark reminder of the work that still needs to be done.