Heterosexuals 'least likely to know they have HIV': Study finds most adults with Aids had virus for 'several years'
Friday 11 June 1993
Men and women who were infected heterosexually were least likely to know they had been infected. The Aids diagnosis was also significant: adolescents and men over 50 were largely ignorant of their HIV status.
Most of the people in the study group had carried the virus for several years, having been infected in the early 1980s.
Professor Ian Weller, of the Middlesex Hospital, London, told the International Aids Conference in Berlin yesterday that the study had worrying implications for the spread of HIV in all groups.
Those infected were missing out on early treatment of the infections associated with Aids which could prolong life and on counselling and support.
Kholoud Porter and colleagues, from the Public Health Laboratory Service, examined reports of 3,556 adults with Aids for whom the dates of the first HIV test and Aids diagnosis were known, between January 1989 and December 1992.
This comprises a substantial proportion of the known Aids cases in the UK; 7,460 cases had been reported to the end of April. The researchers found that 49 per cent of the Aids patients learnt that they were infected within nine months of being diagnosed. More than three-quarters of heterosexuals infected were unaware before this time.
As expected, people who lived outside the Thames area were less likely to know. In 47 per cent of the cases (2,674) reported in the Thames area, the patient was unaware compared with 54 per cent (of a total 882) of reports made outside.
Lack of awareness among infected gay men (2,746) was greater than expected, but more striking still was the 78 per cent of heterosexuals (474) who were unaware. Women and non-whites were less likely to know of their condition. The year of diagnosis was also found to be significant - those diagnosed in 1992 were least likely to know. The researchers said more work was needed to identify and target this group for health education and treatment purposes.
Condoms and needle-exchange programmes and bleach to clean injecting equipment should be available to prisoners to limit the spread of HIV, the World Health Organisation, said yesterday.
Leading article, page 25
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...