While in the UK as a whole new HIV cases have fallen for the second year in a row, in Scotland, they have risen.
In the UK, new diagnoses decreased by 17% in 2017 – 4,363 in 2017 compared to 5,280 in 2016. Scotland saw a 14% rise in cases from 316 in 2016 to 361 in 2017.
While in the UK new cases are down to their lowest level since 2000, in Scotland figures are at almost their highest level in this period.
The decrease in the UK figures is credited as being partly due to the high uptake of HIV testing, particularly repeat HIV testing among higher risk men and increased uptake of anti-retroviral therapy (ART).
The data indicates that challenges remain – the proportion of people diagnosed at a late stage of infection has remained around 40% for the past five years. In Scotland that figure is over 45%. Late diagnosis is associated with a ten-fold increased risk of short-term mortality and an increased risk of onward transmission.