Editorials

Unlinked anonymous HIV screening programme in England and Wales

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6974.206 (Published 28 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:206
  1. JE Banatvala
  1. Professor United Medical and Dental School of Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital (St Thomas's Campus), London SE1 7EH

    Provides information on where to direct preventive efforts

    The most recent report summarising the results of the unlinked anonymous monitoring of the prevalence of HIV infection in England and Wales illuminates many aspects of the current epidemiology of HIV-1 infection.1 2 These include the continuing transmission of HIV-1 among homosexual and bisexual men, including recently infected younger men who should have benefited from specifically targeted preventive measures; the fact that injecting drug users continue to share needles and syringes; the high prevalence among heterosexual men and women attending genitourinary medicine clinics; and the rising prevalence among pregnant women in London. Also particularly worrying is the high proportion of infected people who are unaware of their HIV status. Knowledge of positivity seems to be inversely proportional to perceived risk: thus among people attending genitourinary medicine clinics about 70% of homosexual and bisexual men and 35% of heterosexual men and women who were infected knew that they were, while less than 15% of pregnant women were aware of their infection.

    The programme's success has depended on the …

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