HIV is associated with significant mortality, serious morbidity and high costs of treatment and care. Around 100,000 people are living with HIV infection (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in the UK. The infection is still frequently regarded as stigmatising and has a prolonged ‘silent’ period during which it often remains undiagnosed.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has resulted in substantial reductions in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and deaths in the UK. People diagnosed promptly with HIV and started ART early can expect near normal life expectancy. Challenges remain, with high rates of late HIV diagnoses and an ageing population.
Further information on HIV is available on NHS Choices.
PHE’s national HIV prevention programme comprises action to prevent HIV infection and transmission, through education and information, promoting safer sexual behaviour, facilitating access to HIV testing, increasing early diagnosis and treatment, and a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The programme includes the following: