The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued some startling new figures and revealed that the number of people living with HIV is at a record high in the UK.
It is estimated that around 100,000 have the virus but a quarter of those were probably unaware they are infected with the illness. 6280 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2011 and almost half of those were heterosexual.
Diagnosis of the illness among gay men is also at an all-time high with just over 3000 discovering they were infected.
Dr Valerie Delpech, head of HIV surveillance at HPC, said: “These figures are a reminder of how vital safe sex programmes remain. Promoting HIV testing and condom use is critical to tackling the high rates of transmission, late diagnosis and undiagnosed HIV still seen in the UK. The good news is that with the excellent services and treatments available nowadays, if diagnosed and treated early someone with HIV can look forward to normal lifespan, as well as protecting their sexual partners from infection”.