Sunday, December 01, 2013

World AIDS Day - 1500+ living with HIV in Lewisham

Today is World AIDS Day, so a good point to recall that 'more than 1,500 people are known to be living with the HIV infection in Lewisham – that’s one of the highest rates in the UK. And many more are likely to be infected without knowing' (Lewisham Council)

In fact, 'The rate of HIV infection in Lewisham is 7.8 per 1,000 population with the average for London at 5.2 per 1,000. This is the 8th highest prevalence in the UK'. 

Things are much more positive than when I worked in HIV/AIDS in the early 1990s. In those days an HIV diagnosis was felt by many to be akin to a death sentence.  Today there are good medical treatments, but they work best when people get diagnosed early. And the most recent figures (for 2011) show that 35% of HIV infections in Lewisham were diagnosed very late. 

Free HIV tests are available at any GP surgery in Lewisham and at sexual health clinics. Go to NHS Choicefor more information.

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