HIV rates rise in Northern Ireland – despite falling across rest of UK

Posted by On 4:17 AM

HIV rates rise in Northern Ireland â€" despite falling across rest of UK

HIV rates have increased in Northern Ireland despite falling in every other part of the UK, new figures reveal.

Eighty-four people were diagnosed with the virus there in 2017 â€" up from 80 new cases the previous year.

The rise contrasts with the rest of the country where new diagnoses have fallen to their lowest level since 2000, according to the Public Health England figures.

Reasons for the discrepancy remain unclear, although they have sparked calls for better education in Northern Ireland.

The rise appears to have disproportionately affected gay and bisexual men. Among cases where doctors knew the probable cause, 40 involved sex between men, while 26 were caused by heterosexual contact. Fewer than five cases had come from sharing needles.

John O’Doherty, director of the Rainbow Project, which works to improve the health of the region’s LGBTQ+ people, said the figures showed “gay and bisexual men were being failed.”

He told the BelfastLive wesbite: “They make up five per cent of the overall population, yet account for more than half of all HIV diagnoses in 2017.

“HIV testing must be more accessible because one of the best ways of preventing new diagnoses is finding people living with HIV. If they know they have it they are less likely to pass it on.

“There needs to be statutory guidance all schools must follow so all children receive the same level of relationship and sex education.”

Despite the increase, the rate remains significantly down on 2015's figures when 105 new cases were recorded â€" the most in a single year since records began.

Across the UK as a whole, rates went down from 5,280 in 2016 to 4,363 in 2017 â€" a 17 per cent drop.

Noel Gill, head of the STI and HIV department at Public Health England, said the fall was due to prevention measures having a "significant impact".

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1/50

Sir Mo Farah winning the The Great North Run's elite men's race, claiming a record-breaking fifth consecutive victory. He completed the race in under an hour Getty/Nike

2/50 8 September 2018

Greg Rutherford after his last ever long jump competition as a professional athlete during the Great City Games in Gateshead. Rutherford announced his retirement plans earlier in the year PA

3/50 7 September 2018

The poppy sculpture Wave by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper at IWM North, The Quays, Manchester. This is the final presentation of Wave as part of a four year UK-wide tour, and the sculpture will be on site until 25 November PA

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The aftermath of a house fire, which broke out in the early hours of the morning, where a woman died in Centurion Square, south-east London. PA

5/50 5 September 2018

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Pro Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, protesters demonstrate outside the Labour party headquarters in London. Labour's NEC (National Executive Committee) is expected to approve the international definition of anti-Semitism into Labour's code of conduct EPA

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Chris Evans surrounded by media as he leaves the Radio 2 studio in London after he announced he is quitting his breakfast show which he has presented since 2010 PA

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Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks during the 'Jewish Labour Movement Conference' Getty

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A can of Coca-Cola next to a cup of Costa coffee, as Whitbread has struck a deal to sell the Costa Coffee chain to Coca-Cola for £3.9 billion PA

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Frank Field MP in Westminster, London, after resigning from the Labour party over the anti-Semitism crisis. Field, who has represented Birkenhead from almost 40 years, revealed in a letter to party chief whip Nick Brown that he could no longer serve the party as the leadership was overseeing the "erosion of our core values" PA

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The crowd pauses for 72 seconds silence in remembrance of all those lost in the Grenfell Tower fire at the Red Bull Music Academy Sound System at Notting Hill Getty

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Comedian Rose Matafeo is congratulated by Steve Coogan after winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award at the Dovecote Studio PA

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British Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, attends a signing ceremony for memorandums of understanding between British and Chinese firms and institutions at the British ambassador's residence in Beijing AP

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Families enjoy rides on the dodgems during an Eid in the Park celebration marking Eid Al-Adha at the New River Sports ground in Wood Green, London. The traditional four-day celebratory festival marks one of the holiest days in the Islamic religious calendar Getty

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Jeremy Corbyn campaigns on Labour's 'Build it in Britain' policy at Alexander Dennis bus manufacturers in Falkirk,Scotland. The Labour leader will spend the next four days in Scotland in an attempt to revitalize the party there Getty

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Manchester United women's side walk out alongside Liverpool ahead of their first professional game since 2005. United disbanded their senior women's team thirteen years ago and returned with a win, beating Liverpool in their Continental Tyres Cup match clash at Prenton Park PA

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Great Britain's Reece Prescod, finishes second, to USA's Christian Coleman, centre, in a photo finish after they both ran 9.94. With USA's Noah Lyles, left, finishing third in the men's 100m final during the Muller Grand Prix at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham PA

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Paul Elliott, right, carries the coffin of his brother Barry, 73, at the New York Stadium, Rotherham, for his funeral following his death on Sunday August 5. The veteran entertainer was one half of comedy duo the Chuckle Brothers with Paul PA

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Students react as they receive their 'A' le vel results at Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form in London. Universities accepted thousands fewer students as pass rates hit lowest level since 2010 Reuters

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People gather on Market Street, Omagh, for the ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Omagh bombing on 15 August 1998. The worst single atrocity of the Northern Ireland conflict killed 29, including a woman pregnant with twins PA

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Police arrest a man after he crashed a car into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament Sky News

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Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith reacts after she won gold in the women's 200m final at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, completing the sprint double after she won the 100m just days before Getty/European Athletics

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Pedestrians walk past the entrance of the retail store House of Fraser in central London. The Chinese-owned UK department store chain, entered administration on August 10 only to be swiftly snapped up by retailer Sports Direct for £90 million ($115 million, 100 million euros) AFP/Getty

32/5 0 9 August 2018

Local people protest outside the Hillingdon Conservative Association office on August 9, 2018 in Uxbridge, England. Today's protest is being held following comments made by former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, against the wearing of Burkas by Muslim women in the United Kingdom. An independent panel will investigate complaints made regarding Mr Johnson's comments and possible breaches of the Conservative Party code of conduct. Getty

33/50 8 August 2018

Britain's Prince William, right, and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, walk past a German flag, left, and a Britain's flag as they leave the Amiens cathedral, northern France. Prince William and Theresa May are marking the somber centenary of the Battle o f Amiens, in France, a short, bloody and decisive battle that heralded the end of World War I AP

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Great Britain's Jack Laugher and James Heatly pose with their Gold and Bronze medal's respectively won in the 1 metre springboard men's final at the European Diving Championships in Glasgow EPA

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England cricketer Ben Stokes arrives at Bristol Crown Court accused of affray. The 27-year-old all-rounder and two other men, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale are jointly charged with affray in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol on September 25 last year, several hours after E ngland had played a one-day international against the West Indies in the city PA

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Great Britain's Laura Kenny celebrates after winning the Women's Elimination Race final at the European Championships in Glasgow

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Ben Stokes celebrates taking the wicket of India's Hardik Pandya with team mates during the first test at Edgbaston Action Images via Reuters

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French President Emmanuel Macron waves to people as he arrives at the Fort de Bregancon for a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May epa

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Demonstrators against Tommy Robinson outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where the former English Defence League leader has been freed on bail by the Court of Appeal after winning a challenge against a finding of contempt of court PA

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Friends of Lucy McHugh gather in Mansel Park, Southampton to release balloons in her memory. Lucy disappeared from her Southampton home last Wednesday and her body was later found in woodland near Southampton Sports Centre at 7.45am on Thursday PA

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Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt followed in the footsteps of his gaffe-prone predecessor Boris Johnson as he mistakenly referred to his Chinese wife as Japanese whilst on his first diplomatic mission to China AP

43/50 29 July 2018

Britain's Geraint Thomas, left, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey and Britain's Luke Rowe hold the flag of Wales during the 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Houilles and Paris Champs-Elysees. Thomas is the first Welshman to win the Tour de France AP

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Passengers wait and queue following flight disruption at London Stansted Airport. The British National Air Traffic Services (Nats) placed temporary restrictions during the adverse weather on 27 July leading to flight cancellations and delays across Britain EPA

45/50 27 July 2018

The scene on the A96 between Huntly and Keith in Moray where a five people have died and five more were injured after a crash between a minibus and a car. PA

46/50 26 July 2018

Anti-Brexit campaigners parked a removal van outside the Foreign Secretary's official home in central London in protest of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's continued residence there PA

47/50 25 July 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during his visit to HS2 trains bidder Bombardier in Derby, following the launch of the party's new Build it in Britain campaign PA

48/50 24 July 2018

Great Britain's Geraint Thomas cleans his eyes after tear gas was thrown at the pelaton during a farmers' protest who attempted to block the stage's route, during the 16th stage of the Tour de France, between Carcassonne and Bagneres-de-Luchon. The race was halted for several minutes. AFP/Getty Images

49/50 23 July 2018

Crime scene investigators at the scene near the Hilton Hotel, Deansgate, Manchester where a woman with serious injuries to her neck was found in the morning. Six people have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the woman was attacked inside the hotel PA

50/50 22 July 2018

Italy's Francesco Molinari kisses the trophy after winning the 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland AFP/Getty

Steve Brine, public health minister, said: "HIV is a devastating and life-altering disease. Today's figures mean we are well on our way to eradicating it once and for all but we have not an ounce of complacency.

"Our commitment to prevention has led to more people getting tested and almost every person with a diagnosis is now in treatment - meaning they are unlikely to pass the virus o n to someone else."

Source: Google News Ireland | Netizen 24 Ireland

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