Original Article: bit.ly/11lYZHe
People who are worried about HIV are being encouraged to take a test early as new figures show that many Cumbrians with HIV wait too long for a test.
People living with HIV can expect a near normal life-span if they are diagnosed promptly. However, waiting longer can mean the treatment is far less effective.
Although HIV is far less prevalent here than in other parts of the UK, 62 per cent of those who go for a test are deemed late – well above the national rate for the same period (2011 to 2013) of 45 per cent.
A late diagnosis means the immune system may already be significantly compromised. Someone who is diagnosed late is 10 times more likely to die within a year of diagnosis, and could have significantly reduced life expectancy.
The county’s public health chiefs are using next week’s National HIV Testing Week to highlight the dangers of late diagnosis.
While the vast majority of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men do not have HIV, latest data shows the infection route for the majority of all HIV diagnoses in Cumbria was men who have sex with men (56.8%).
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