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Concern over HIV rise in Scotland

Figures have revealed that the number of people in Scotland who are HIV-positive has risen.

According to information from NHS Scotland laboratories, 100 new people had tested HIV-positive in the three months up to 30 September this year.

A total of 5,718 people – 4,154 men and 1,564 women – have been diagnosed with the infection since NHS Scotland began recording the figures, with at least 28% of those known to have died.

Of the 100 newly diagnosed, heterosexual intercourse was the probable cause of infection in 39 cases – with 26 of these people probably acquiring the infection abroad.

The probable route of transmission in 27 cases was men who have sex with men, while there were four cases where the likely cause was from drug injecting, and four cases of mother-to-child transmission.

Catherine Murphy of the Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland raised concerns some people were being diagnosed too late.

The charity said that 45% of cases involved people who were diagnosed when they should already have started treatment.

Ms Murphy said: "This means their immune systems have already been damaged and, unless they start treatment, they will be vulnerable to a host of infections, some of which could be life-threatening."

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