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Warning over HIV prevention funding

A new report claims that the amount of money being spent on HIV prevention in England has "stagnated", and may even have declined over the last 10 years.

The National Aids Trust (NAT) claims that funding seems to have deteriorated over the past decade, despite the fact that the potential for being diagnosed with HIV is greater than ever.

It points to a "massive increase" in the last 10 years in the number of people living with HIV, and rises in the number of adults in at-risk groups, including gay and African communities.

The group carried out a survey of primary care trusts (PCTs) across the country. A total of 137 PCTs were contacted, of which 80 responded.

It found there is "considerable uncertainty" as to the amount being spent on HIV prevention in individual PCTs.

And it extrapolated the data to show that overall expenditure on HIV prevention in England was around £38m in 2005-06 - a fall on the figure a decade ago.

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the NAT, said: "This survey has revealed shocking complacency around HIV prevention in England today.

"With numbers living with HIV at an all-time high, now is not a time for HIV prevention to be ignored and for funding to be reduced.

"HIV prevention needs to be a public health priority and more investment is urgently needed to stop many thousands more people in England becoming needlessly infected with HIV in the next 10 years."

National Aids Trust

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