Late HIV diagnosis in men

New diagnoses of HIV in heterosexual men continues to decline but late diagnosis is more likely than in any other group. Late diagnosis is a problem because these men have been living with an undiagnosed HIV infection for at least three years and are at risk of premature death and of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.

According to the latest report on HIV infection from Public Health England (PHE), reducing late HIV diagnosis remains a clinical and public health priority. Late HIV diagnosis is defined as a CD4 count ˂350 cells/mm3 within three months of HIV diagnosis.

In 2015, 55% of men and 49% of women were diagnosed late. Late diagnosis occurred less frequently (30%) in men who have sex with men (MSM). Late diagnosis was more likely in the Midlands, North and East of England.

Overall MSM accounted for 54% of all new diagnoses of HIV. According to PHE this reflects an increase in levels of HIV testing as well as continuing transmission in this group.

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