A large increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for HIV is expected by NHS bosses, figures have revealed.
As many as 70,000 people who are HIV positive will need care this year, rising to 74,600 next year, it has been predicted. Last year there was a total of 65,319 patients who were seen for HIV care.
If the estimates for 2011 are accurate it will represent a 60% rise in just five years, from the 46,714 figure seen in 2005.
Health minister Anne Milton disclosed the data in a written Commons answer.
“The estimated numbers of diagnosed HIV-infected individuals receiving care in 2010 and 2011 (rounded to the nearest 100) have been extrapolated from the number of individuals seen for HIV care in the previous five years,” Ms Milton said.
“Between 2005 and 2009, the annual increase in the numbers of HIV care has been between 4,200 and 5,000 and the average annual increase has been used to estimate the numbers that will be seen in 2010 and 2011.”
According to the NHS Choices website, at the end of 2005 an estimated 63,500 adults aged over 15 were living with HIV in the UK. Of these, 20,100 (32%) did not know they were infected.
It also says the number of people living with HIV is rising each year as a result of more cases being diagnosed and people living longer due to more effective medication.
Copyright Press Association 2010