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HIV testing: increasing uptake among people who may have undiagnosed HIV

Read time: 1 mins
Last updated:1st Dec 2016
Status: Live

This guideline covers how to increase the uptake of HIV testing in primary and secondary care, specialist sexual health services and the community. It describes how to plan and deliver services that are tailored to the local prevalence of HIV, promote awareness of HIV testing and increase opportunities to offer testing to people who may have undiagnosed HIV.

In 2014, an estimated 103,700 people (69,200 men and 34,400 women) in the UK were living with HIV. The overall HIV prevalence was 1.9 per 1,000 people aged 15 and over (HIV in the UK Public Health England).

Although there are significant pockets of HIV in other populations and communities, the most significant burden of HIV continues to be borne by men who have sex with men and by black Africans. An estimated 45,000 men living with HIV in the UK in 2014 had acquired their infection through sex with other men, an increase from 43,000 in 2013. One in 20 men aged 15 to 44 who have sex with men is estimated to be living with HIV.

A recent increase in HIV testing coverage among men attending sexual health clinics is likely to be the reason for an increase in new diagnoses and a decline in undiagnosed infections: about 6,500 men who have sex with men were unaware of their infection in 2014, compared with 8,500 in 2010 ('HIV in the UK').

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