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The UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued a report saying that the HIV/AIDS crisis is ongoing among British homosexuals.

The AIDS rate among British homosexuals rose 13 per cent in the last year according to recent statistics.

This places Britain third in the rate of infection among European countries. A media release from the HPA says 73,000 adults are living with HIV in the UK, and of these, 7,093 people were diagnosed in 2006.

3,295 people were receiving treatment in 2006. Dr. Valerie Delpech, Head of HIV surveillance at the Agency said, “We are still seeing high levels of HIV transmission in gay men in whom we anticipate that there will have been just over 2,700 new diagnoses of HIV infection in 2006.”

A regularly appearing theme in writing on the subject by AIDS activists is that HIV/AIDS is as easily transmissible among the “straight” population as among homosexuals.

The response on the FAQ page of the website of Avert, an AIDS organisation based in Horsham, West Sussex, to the question, “Who is most affected by HIV/AIDS in the UK?” downplayed the predominance of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals.

It said, “Of the estimated 33,600 heterosexuals, some 20,200 (60%) were women. The male to female ratio of HIV diagnoses made before 1989 was more than 10 to 1, whereas in 2005 the ratio for new diagnoses was around 3 male to 2 female.”

To the question, “How are gay men in the UK affected by HIV and AIDS?” the response said blandly, “HIV is transmitted more easily through sex between men than it is through heterosexual sex.”

“For this reason and others…gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK face a proportionately higher risk of HIV infection than other groups, even though heterosexuals now account for a greater number of new diagnoses.”

But Delpech was more blunt, saying, “In recent years, we have seen steady increases in all sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV, in gay men and since 2003, the number of HIV diagnoses reported annually has consistently increased and exceeded the annual number of diagnoses throughout the 1980s and 1990s.”

At the same time, the Terrence Higgins Trust, Britain’s leading AIDS organisation, announced today that it is launching the second phase of its “anti-discrimination campaign”.

Alastair Irons, executive creative director at the charity marketing agency handling the campaign, said the problem of AIDS “is compounded by the myths that still prevail about HIV and AIDS, most of which lie at the root of the quite appalling discrimination some people face, and the stigma still attached to the illness.”

[Ed. Abstinence, anyone?]

[LONDON, November 26, 2007,]