Don't delay over tests for HIV say Cumbrian experts

Published: November 25, 2014

News & Star
Chris Story
Original Article:

It is estimated that just short of 1,500 people in Cumbria and Lancashire were living with the condition last year.

And, although HIV is far less prevalent in the county than in other parts of the UK, statistics show people are waiting too long for diagnosis.
Cumbria County Council’s public health team say 62 per cent of those who go for a test are deemed to have gone late, above the national average of 45 per cent.

During National HIV Testing Week, health chiefs have spoken out about the dangers of late diagnosis.

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.

Ian Stewart, the county councillor who oversees public health, said: “HIV is a dangerous disease if left undiagnosed. Early diagnosis is crucial both to stop the spread of the disease and to begin treatment as early as possible.

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