Call to tackle poor rates of HIV diagnosis in Bexley

Bexley has a poor record on diagnosing HIV in time.

Bexley has a poor record on diagnosing HIV in time.

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

An HIV charity is calling on future councillors in Bexley to help tackle poor rates of diagnosis in the borough.

Bexley is the worst performing local authority in London when it comes to diagnosing the condition in time.

Nearly 64 per cent of people living with HIV in the borough were diagnosed late compared to 55 per cent in Greenwich and 47 per cent in Bromley.

The figures for 2013 are much higher than the England-wide average of 48 per cent.

Late diagnosis of HIV means people have had the virus for at least four years, which can result in a shorter life expectancy and a greater chance of passing the virus on.

People diagnosed late also have an eleven-fold increased risk of dying within one year of HIV diagnosis compared to those diagnosed promptly.

In the run up to the local elections on May 22, National AIDS Trust director of policy and campaigns Yusef Azad, said: "These elections represent a real opportunity for councillors and political groups in Bexley to tackle HIV in the borough.

"We are urging local candidates in Bexley, if elected, to invest in HIV prevention services, show leadership on diagnosis and fund and commission local HIV support services

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