The what, why and how of health and development

Quarter of people with HIV are unaware they have it

“People shouldn’t be scared of HIV testing – they should be scared of undiagnosed HIV”
NAT (National AIDS Trust)

Nearly a quarter of people with HIV are unaware of their infection, according to figures released  by the Health Protection Agency in November.

Although the proportion of late diagnoses has dropped by around 10% in the last ten years, the number of people being diagnosed after they should have started treatment is still high (50%).

Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) Deborah Jack said that this is a serious issue that the government needs to take a lead on.

“Not only does it have a severe impact on health and reduce life expectancy, this largely accounts for the onward transmission of HIV as people aren’t taking the necessary steps to avoid passing it on”, she said.

“‘We also need to eradicate the fear around HIV testing. People shouldn’t be scared of HIV testing, but they should be scared of undiagnosed HIV.”

Active blogger and twitter UKPositiveLad, who has been blogging about his experience of living with HIV since he got diagnosed last July, has also written about the importance of getting tested. Read his urgent message encouraging people to face any fears they might have and get tested.

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