HIV figures among bi and gay men at lowest level in 20 years
This is undoubtedly good news! Because: The number of HIV diagnoses among bi- and gay men is currently at its lowest level in 20 years. Scientists from England came to this conclusion. A report to this effect was published at the beginning of the month.
This shows that the total number of affected persons in the GBM-Great Britain Man") has fallen by at least about ten percent over the years. The difference between the current figures and the figures from 2014, when a particularly large number of people received an HIV diagnosis, is especially high. Here, the report states a difference of more than 30 percent.
In this context, the ratio between homosexual and heterosexual HIV infected persons is particularly interesting. While in 2019 a total of approximately 1,700 gay and heterosexual bisexual men received a corresponding diagnosis, a total of approximately 1,600 straight men were affected in the same year.
For comparison: in 2000, 1,500 gay or bisexual men were diagnosed with HIV.
Early diagnosis can save lives
In many cases, it turns out that an HIV diagnosis can be an absolute shock, but does not have to be directly fatal. Many people live completely symptom-free for a long period of time.
However, it is particularly important to diagnose the disease as early as possible. Those who consult a doctor too late are at a much higher risk of dying from the consequences of their HIV diagnosis.
Why do the current figures give reason for hope?
Those who are happy about the current developments will certainly also quickly ask themselves why the numbers of HIV-infected people are declining. Regardless of the fact that here - as in numerous other areas - there is certainly also a non-negligible number of unreported cases, it should not be disregarded that, among other things:
- the use of condoms
- the use of PrEPs
- Increased testing in suspected cases and a correspondingly early start of treatment
Decisive factors are why fewer people become infected with HIV.
However, the current figures are also the result of continuous research and development. Among other things, the United Kingdom also participates in numerous international programmes, on the basis of which both education and research are to be carried out.
Another important factor: people (whether homosexual or heterosexual) must realise that testing, above all, is an important factor in saving lives and not spreading the virus further. Accordingly, many schools are already focusing on appropriate education in order to increase people's confidence in the Red Ribbon tests and to reduce prejudices.
Ambitious goals against HIV
By 2030, the HI virus should no longer be transmitted in the UK. Among other things, this goal is to be achieved with the help of regular tests and PrEP.
As a rule, HIV virus is still transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse with a sex partner who is himself infected but does not know about it. Exactly this aspect could be counteracted with the help of the said testing strategy. Many places offer free tests and thus make it easier for those affected to gain clarity.
Due to the Corona pandemic, several clinics have decided to offer their HIV tests online. Here, interested people have the possibility to order their test kit for home and send it back by post. The result is then sent by post or telephone.
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