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Action needed to cut HIV diagnoses

Southwark Council has been asked to take action to address the high rates of HIV in the borough as it has the second highest number of diagnoses in the country.

The only borough with a worse HIV record is neighbouring Lambeth, which has also been asked to pass a motion by Halve It – a group  of 21 health bodies fighting to get more people tested earlier to stop the spread of the fatal virus.

Cllr David Noakes
Cllr David Noakes

The council adopted the motion proposed by Cllr David Noakes at last week’s council meeting after he revealed that well over 2,500 people were recorded as living with an HIV diagnosis in Southwark in 2013 and the diagnosis rate is twelve people in 1,000, compared with a nationwide rate of two in every 1,000.

Cllr Noakes said Southwark’s high levels of HIV are largely down to the fact that the borough is home to a large number of two of the most high-risk communities – men who  have sex with men and the African community.

“Reducing late and undiagnosed HIV figures in high risk communities is crucial if we to reduce new infections and improve the outcomes for everyone with HIV,” said Cllr Noakes.

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