On 3 September 2019, Public Health England (PHE) released data that showed new HIV diagnoses in the UK have fallen by almost a third (28%), from 6,271 cases in 2015 to 4,484 cases in 2018, a number also represents the lowest level since 2000.
New HIV diagnoses have been declining in gay, bisexual and heterosexual populations. The steepest falls have been seen among gay and bisexual men, where new diagnoses declined by 39% between 2015 and 2018. The factors associated with the largest decreases among gay and bisexual men are:
- white (46% decrease between 2015 and 2018)
- born in the UK (46% decrease between 2015 and 2018)
- aged 15 to 24 (47% decrease between 2015 and 2018)
- living in London (50% decrease between 2015 and 2018)
During the same period, new diagnoses have also fallen by a quarter among people who acquired HIV through heterosexual contact.
The continued decline of HIV diagnoses is mainly due to the success of combination HIV prevention over the past decade, which includes HIV testing, condom provision, the scale-up of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) drugs that keep the level of HIV in the body low and prevent the virus being passed on.
Source: PHE, 3 September 2019