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Rise in patients seeking HIV care

The number of patients seeking HIV care through the NHS may have risen by 60% in just five years, official figures suggest.

In 2005, a total of 46,714 received treatment for the infection, with the number rising to 65,319 in 2009.

This year nearly 70,000 patients are expected to be seen for HIV care, and the figure is likely to go up to 74,600 in 2011, health minister, Anne Milton, said in a written Commons answer.

She said: "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.

"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."

The NHS Choices website says the numbers are increasing every year as more people are diagnosed and life expectancy keeps rising thanks to more effective treatments.

It said at the end of 2005 that 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.

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