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Home Publications Infectious diseases HIV and sexually transmitted infections ›  HIV in the United Kingdom: 2010 Report

HIV in the United Kingdom: 2010 Report

Report cover


Health Protection Agency

Publication date: November 2010



Key findings for 2009

  • The number of people living with HIV in the UK reached an estimated 86,500. A quarter of these people were unaware of their infection.
  • New diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) remained high (2,760); four out of five probably acquired their infection in the UK.  
  • Of the people newly diagnosed in 2009, 1,130 probably acquired their infection heterosexually within the UK, accounting for a third of heterosexuals diagnosed. 
  • One in six MSM, and one in sixteen heterosexuals newly diagnosed with HIV had acquired their infection within the previous 4-5 months before diagnosis. 
  • A total of 6,630 people were newly diagnosed as HIV-infected. This represents a fourth year-on-year decline, largely due to fewer diagnoses among people infected heterosexually abroad, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • Some 65,000 individuals accessed HIV care, of whom one in five were aged 50 years or over. Since 2000 there has been a three-fold increase in the number of individuals accessing care and a fourfold increase among older (greater than 50 years) individuals. 
  • Half of adults were diagnosed with HIV at a late stage of infection in 2009 (CD4 counts less than 350 per mm3 within three months of diagnosis), the stage at which treatment is recommended to begin. 
  • Thirty-seven English primary care trusts (PCTs) had a prevalence of diagnosed HIV greater than 2 per 1,000 population, the threshold at which expanded HIV testing should be implemented. 
  • Uptake of HIV testing was 95% in antenatal clinics and 77% among STI clinic attendees in England. 
  • The quality of HIV care received is high. Based on London data, 80% of newly diagnosed patients were seen in an HIV clinic within one month of diagnosis; 90% had an undetectable viral load (less than 50 copies/ml) one year after starting therapy; and 93% of those in care for more than a year had a CD4 count above 200 cells per mm3.


  • High proportions of recently acquired HIV infections among newly diagnosed MSM of all age groups underscores the need for ongoing prevention efforts tailored to all ages in this group. 
  • The national recommendation of universal testing for all attendees of STI clinics should be audited and improved in many clinics; the existing national standard for HIV testing in STI clinics should be reviewed so as to encourage better performance. 
  • In high prevalence areas (greater than 2 per 1,000 people diagnosed HIV infection) the routine offer and recommendation to accept an HIV test for all adult general practice registrants and general medical admissions should be widely implemented given the recently reported success of pilot projects. The upper age limit for application of this policy should be set with regard to local circumstances. 
  • Roll-out of clinical outcome indicators to assess the quality of HIV care received by patients, already in place in London, should be extended to the rest of the country.


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PDF  and report slides free for download

Additional information

Visit the HIV  landing page

HIV in the United Kingdom 2010 slideset (PowerPoint Presentation, 1.2 MB)

Press release on launch of report

Last reviewed: 26 November 2010