New HIV diagnoses in the United Kingdom have fallen by almost a third
since 2015, bringing the island nation closer to its goal of zero new
HIV transmissions by 2030.
They fell from 6,271 in 2015 to 4,484 in 2018, a decrease of 28% and
the lowest level since 2000, according to data released by Public
Health England (PHE) on Tuesday.
The decline comes after a nationwide campaign for HIV prevention,
which included more HIV testing, condom provision and the use of HIV
prevention treatments like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and
antiretroviral treatment (ART).
The UK, which was one of the first countries to reach the UN’s targets
for HIV diagnosis and treatment last year, offers free testing at
various clinics and hospitals, as well as accessible self-testing
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said she was “delighted” by the
new numbers. “This decline in diagnoses is a result of our unwavering
commitment to prevention which has led to more people getting tested,
and has allowed people with HIV to benefit from effective treatment,
stopping the virus from spreading further,” she said in the press
“However, I am not complacent and remain dedicated to ensuring we
reach our target of zero new HIV transmissions by 2030.”
About 37 million people are living with HIV and AIDs worldwide,
according to UNAIDS, with almost a million AIDS-related deaths each