Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shock rise in HIV cases in northern English city

Jane Lavender:

HEALTH chiefs today warned of the importance of safe sex after shock figures revealed that the number of new HIV cases in Bolton has doubled.

Last year 53 people were diagnosed with the virus, compared to just 27 in 2004. Most of them contracted the condition - which can eventually develop into AIDS - because they did not use protection during sex.

Thirty-one women account for nearly 60 per cent of the new cases.

And 70 per cent of the 53 new cases were heterosexuals.

Andrew Mulholland, a senior health promotion specialist with Bolton Primary Care Trust, said: "It's disappointing to see an increase in the number of new cases in Bolton.

"These figures act as a stark reminder that HIV and AIDS pose a real danger, with new cases among men and women, hetrosexuals and men who have sex with men.

"It is essential that people protect themselves and minimise risks by practising safe sex and avoiding risky sexual contact."

The statistics have been released by the Centre for Public Health. They show that the total number of people with HIV in Bolton stands at 177, compared to 136 in 2004, an increase of more than 30 per cent.

In the new cases, seven people diagnosed were under 25, there were 27 people aged 25 to 34, with 11 people were aged 35 to 44. Eight people were over 45.

White people made up 20 of the new cases, with black people making up the rest.

There were 37 new cases of heterosexual people having unprotected sex and contracting the virus, 12 cases of men having sex with men, and four people contracted the virus from another source, such as drug use.

HIV infection in black Caribbeans in the United Kingdom

Black Caribbean adults with HIV in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland: an emerging epidemic?


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