London Sexual Health Programme responds to further reduction in HIV rates

  • By Valerie Solomon

04/09/2018 - 16:50

Public Health England today published new data showing a reduction in HIV rates in London, for the second year running.

Last year 1,675 people were diagnosed with HIV in London, compared to 2,090 in 2016  - a fall of 21 per cent, compared to the average UK-wide decrease of 17 per cent. Since 2015, new diagnoses of HIV infections have fallen by 35% in London (from 2,402 to 1,572). Across the rest of the country the decline is 23%.

A spokesperson for the London Sexual Health Programme said: “It’s great news that the number of people testing positive for HIV in London has declined significantly for the second year running.

“Since the London Sexual Health Programme brought together the commissioning for contraception, testing and treatment services so they’re all available under one roof in clinics, people in London now get better, more consistent sexual health services and advice.

“And, with the roll-out of the Sexual Health London service - where free, easy-to-use self-sampling kits are posted to people’s homes or picked up in clinics - it’s more convenient than ever for people to get regularly tested and monitor their sexual health.

“Since launching in January, almost 50,000 self-sampling kits have been sent out. So far, 99% of people who have given feedback say they would recommend the kits to friends and family.

“London’s sexual health services carry out more HIV tests than anywhere else in the country, with 441,000 tests in 2017, up by more than a quarter since 2013. With the ongoing improvements to sexual health services and their convenience, and greater awareness raising of sexual health issues, hopefully this downward trend in people testing positive for HIV will continue.”