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HIV cases among gay and bisexual men drop for the first time as experts hail ‘significant advance’ – Telegraph.co.uk

The downward trend was boosted by London, traditionally an area of high prevalence, where new cases among gay and bisexual men fell 29 per cent.

Health officials said the improved picture was due to more regular and frequent testing, as well as quicker diagnosis and treatment.

But the Terrence Higgins Trust, which campaigns on behalf of HIV patients, said access to the controversial new drug PrEP (preexposure prophylaxis), which the NHS has been legally obliged to start funding, would also contribute to the fall in cases.

The medication, which is taken in pill form before sex, reduces the risk of infection by approximately 86 per cent.

It is expensive, however, and other patient groups, such as those with rare cancers, have said funding for their treatments have suffered due to its cost.

Dr Valerie Delpech, from PHE, said: “This is very good news.

“It is the first time since the beginning of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s that we have observed a decline in new HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men and is clear evidence that HIV prevention efforts are working across the United Kingdom.”

The Terrence Higgins Trust welcomed the new statistics, but cautioned that 42 per cent of people with HIV are still being diagnosed late, reducing the efficacy of treatments to help them live with the disease, for which there is not yet a cure.

Source Article from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/03/hiv-cases-among-gay-bisexual-men-drop-first-time-experts-hail/
HIV cases among gay and bisexual men drop for the first time as experts hail ‘significant advance’ – Telegraph.co.uk
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