It Starts With Me, I’m Stopping HIV
Combination Prevention: We have the tools to stop HIV
Due to a combination of prevention methods, the UK is starting to witness a substantial decline in HIV diagnoses. People are testing more, staying protected by using condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), getting diagnosed and starting HIV treatment earlier.
In 2016, there was an 18 per cent decline in new diagnoses from 6,286 in 2015 to 5,164 in 2016
Thanks to a combination of prevention methods, the UK has now met the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.
In 2017: 92% of people estimated to be living with HIV were diagnosed 98% of people diagnosed were receiving antiretroviral treatment
97% of people on treatment were virally suppressed. However, 43% of people in England were diagnosed late in 2017, after the virus has began to damage the immune system.
Why It Is Important and What You Can Do
Combination prevention strategies offer the best approach to stopping HIV in England. They include:
- early diagnosis and treatment of HIV to stop onward transmission
- correct and consistent condom use
- awareness of and access to PrEP for those who need it
- addressing the wider sexual health determinants of people affected, including their mental health and alcohol and drug issues.
Testing reduces the number of people undiagnosed with HIV and allows them to access treatment.
Testing is simple and easy – be it in clinical settings, in primary care, through community-based rapid testing or via self-sampling or self-testing at home.
Being on treatment earlier leads to quicker achievement of an undetectable viral load, which means that HIV cannot be passed on to others and reduces the period of infectivity after diagnosis. Treatment is free in the UK and allows individuals to:
- get the maximum health benefits from the medication
- avoid passing on HIV.
Find your nearest bSHaW Sexual Health Clinic for Testing & Treatment
Condoms are a cornerstone of HIV and STI prevention in the UK; however, uptake among key communities is insufficient. National surveys showed that more than a third of MSM and BA did not use condoms at all during sex in the last year. Of BA who did, 26 per cent experienced condom failure due to breakage or slippage.
Click here for more information on where to get Condoms
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This page was last updated on June 18, 2019