Number of People Accessing HIV/AIDS Treatment Increasing in Northwest England, Study Finds
The number of people accessing HIV/AIDS treatment in the northwest region of England increased by 9% in 2007 compared with data from 2006, according to a report released recently by the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University and the North West Protection Agency, the Press Association reports. The report said that in 2007, the total number of HIV-positive people receiving treatment was 5,212, compared with 4,761 people in 2006. The report also showed a 10% decrease in the number of newly reported cases. There were 907 newly recorded cases in 2006, compared with 817 newly recorded cases in 2007. Report co-author Penny Cook said the decrease in newly recorded cases should not lead to complacency among researchers and health officials about HIV/AIDS, adding, "We must ensure that prevention and treatment services continue to help those most in need."
The 2007 data in the report also showed that 42% of all newly recorded cases, or 345 cases, involved men who have sex with men. Heterosexual sex was associated with 49% of newly recorded cases, or 401 cases. According to the report, advances in antiretroviral therapy have led to a reduction in the number of recorded AIDS-related deaths from 87 in 1996 to 33 in 2007. Mark Bellis, director of the Centre for Public Health and co-author of the report, said regulations on advertising for condoms need to be changed so that they can be "marketed as sexy and appealing products" to young people before they become sexually active (Press Association, 8/14).
The report is available online.