HIV Infection

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 26 June 2023.

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Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord Markham on 8 June (HLWS826), what assessment they have made of the incidence of HIV in (1) women, and (2) heterosexual men, between 2019 and 2021; and what steps they are taking to improve this.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The UK Health Security Agency is currently developing a methodology to estimate incidence among heterosexual men and women based on the methodology currently used to produce estimates of incidence for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. As estimates of incidence are not available for heterosexual men and women, new diagnoses first made in the United Kingdom are used as a proxy and interpreted in context of levels of HIV testing amongst those populations.

Between 2019 and 2021, there was a slight increase in HIV diagnoses and late HIV diagnoses among heterosexuals, whilst HIV testing coverage remained substantially lower in 2021 than in 2019. In addition, the estimated number of undiagnosed people among heterosexual men and women did not decline over the same period. These figures suggest that there was no fall in incidence in this population.

The HIV Action Plan published in 2020 aims to reduce new HIV infections by 80% between 2019 and 2025 and details a range of actions committed to in order to help achieve this ambition.

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