North West sees 14% rise in number of young people accessing care for HIV in England
The number of young people seeking HIV care in the North West region of England has gone up by 14% according to a report by the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moore University.
The report said 295 people received care in 2013, a 19% rise in 10 years.
Statistics also show that many individuals living with the disease are not aware that they have the condition, and therefore risk infecting others with the disease through unprotected sex. All in all, Greater Manchester appeared to have the highest numbers of infection in the region with 51% being from heterosexual transmission in Merseyside alone. Infection through injection as a result of drug use also accounted for a high rate of infection with 68% being infected through this route.
While the stats for England may look dire, there have been tremendous progress in bringing down infection rates since the disease first surfaced in the 80’s. Through nationwide campaigns which raised awareness of the disease and its transmission, the UK has managed to stem what could potentially be an epidemic.
However, the same can’t be said for Africa. According to HIV/AIDS charity DO SOMETHING, Sub Saharan Africa alone has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world with over 69% of the world’s 34 million people infected with the disease. Children in Africa also account for a disturbing 91% of the world’s HIV positive children.
Poverty, lack of adequate resources to combat the disease, as well as lack of education and awareness are some of the main reasons Africa has such a high prevalence rate.
According to the charity, the figures for the continent are very bleak and the world needs to do more to stem the spread of the disease.
- More than one million adults and children die every year from HIV/AIDS in Africa alone. In 2011, 1.7 million people worldwide died from AIDS.
- 4. Since the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, more than 75 million people have contracted the illness, and over 36 million have died from an HIV-related cause.
- 5. 71% of the HIV/AIDS-related deaths in 2011 were people living in Africa.
- 6. Antiretroviral drug treatments can tremendously decrease the number of HIV-related deaths by delaying the progression of the virus and allowing people to live relatively healthy, normal lives.
- 7. Due to an insufficient supply of antiretroviral drugs and health care providers in 2010, only 5 of the 10 million HIV-positive patients in Africa were able to receive treatment.
- 8. Because of HIV/AIDs, the average life-expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa is 54.4 years of age. In some countries in Africa, it’s below 49.
- 9. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has drastically slowed the economic growth and social development in Africa, because hundreds of thousands of people are unable to work or receive an education.
- 10. Contraceptive use of condoms has doubled in recent years because it is an inexpensive provision to offer to both the HIV-positive and negative. However, the method is void when couples are hoping to conceive or have already engaged with infected persons.
- 11. A pregnant woman not treated with the proper drugs, has a 20-45% chance that her infant will contract the virus from pregnancy. 59% of HIV-positive people in Africa are women, the majority of children diagnosed with HIV get the virus from their mothers.
December 1 is marked as HIV awareness day around the world and here in England, there are a number of activities that have been taking place to create awareness of the disease and encourage voluntary testing amongst young people as a way of preventing the spread of the disease.
Testing takes only a few minutes and there’s unparalled support whatever the outcome. If you would like to find out more or to find out centres where you can get tested, please visit https://www.tht.org.uk/itstartswithme.