Hiv And The United Kingdom

Decent Essays

2.1. HIV in the United Kingdom
Public Health England released a report in 2014 on the data collected about the HIV epidemic in the United Kingdom. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are shown to be the most affected demographic group and are at the highest risk of becoming infected with HIV. In 2013, 40.4% of the 107,800 people living with HIV in the UK were MSM. The main way HIV is transmitted among MSM is through serodiscordant, unprotected intercourse, that is, one HIV-positive and one HIV-negative person having unprotected anal sex. In this case both partners are at risk. The risky partner in this context is considered to be the person whose status is unknown. It is exactly because of this ignorance and the lack of protection that HIV infection is very likely to occur. According to Public Health England, 7,200 MSM, which is 16% of the total number of MSM infected with HIV, were undiagnosed and unaware of being infected with HIV. Despite that since 1990 the proportion of MSM reporting attending sex health clinics and HIV tests has increased, there are nevertheless 2,600 newly infected MSM each year. There might be several social determinants of health that contribute to the disparity in the risk of HIV acquisition and late diagnosis of the infection, including fear of the stigma surrounding HIV, general misinformation about the infection and lack of perceived individual risk. (Public Health England, 2014; Sigma Research 2008)

Public Health England states that reducing the

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