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Seven in 10 women "have had no HIV test"

Almost three-quarters of British women have never been tested for HIV, with many seeing no need to, a poll has found.

A total of 73% have not been tested, while 62% think HIV and Aids do not affect "their community".

Around eight in 10 British women said they have sex without a condom, with 63% saying this is because they are in an exclusive relationship.

Meanwhile, 58% of women do not have annual HIV tests because they do not consider themselves at risk.

The poll, for the MAC Aids Fund, explored the reasons why women do not use condoms.

Of those not using them, 35% said they trusted their partner was not HIV positive, 35% were using another form of contraception and 27% said they had a "no risk" attitude to sexually transmitted infections.

In 2008 almost 7,300 people were diagnosed with HIV in the UK, almost three times the number in 1998.

Nancy Mahon, executive director of the MAC Aids Fund, said: "The survey insights are a wake-up call that we need to improve HIV awareness and access to prevention methods for women in the UK.

"While HIV is 100% preventable, it's not curable. When people know their status, they're more likely to practice prevention, which for now is the end game in this epidemic we are sadly losing."

MAC Aids Fund