Steep decline in HIV infections in the UK

There has been a steep decline in new HIV infections amongst gay and bisexual men in the UK.

Since 2012 the infection rate amongst gay and bisexual men has fallen by 71 per cent.

The estimated number of HIV infections within that group has fallen to 800, compared to 2,800 in 2012.

The decline has been attributed to the use of condoms and the availability of drug Pre-exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP.

Daily use of PrEP provides almost 100 per cent protection against contracting HIV during unprotected sex.

However, while the drug is freely available in Scotland and Wales, it is not freely obtainable in England and campaigners are calling for the drug to be made available.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said that he hoped that the UK would reach zero HIV transmission by 2030.

“I feel very strongly that we must end HIV transmission,” he said.

“HIV has brought untold hurt and suffering to so many, so it is encouraging to see transmissions continue to fall across the UK.”