KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 – The UK has witnessed a drop in new cases of HIV by almost a third since 2015, proving that the nation is inching closer to its goal of zero new HIV cases by 2030.
Following A national-level crackdown campaign for HIV prevention, which included more HIV testing, condom provision and the use of HIV prevention treatments like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and antiretroviral treatment (ART), new cases decreased from 6,271 in 2015 to 4,484 in 2018, marking a 28 per cent drop and recording the lowest level since 2000, according to data by Public Health England (PHE).
“This decline in diagnoses is a result of our unwavering commitment to prevention which has led to more people getting tested, and has allowed people with HIV to benefit from effective treatment, stopping the virus from spreading further,” Public Health Minister Jo Churchill was quoted as saying by CNN.
Being one of the first countries to reach the United Nation’s targets for HIV diagnosis and treatment in 2018, the UK provides free testing at various clinics and hospitals, as well as accessible self-testing kits.
Despite these positive numbers, the study also revealed that almost 50 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV in the UK last year were at a late stage of infection, making them 10 times more likely to die within a year compared to patients diagnosed early.
“However, I am not complacent and remain dedicated to ensuring we reach our target of zero new HIV transmissions by 2030,” Churchill continued.