Drug-related HIV rates ‘soaring’

The number of HIV-positive drug users who inject has reached its highest level for more than a decade.

Official data from 2005 shows that one in 62 injecting drug users (1.6%) in England and Wales are HIV-positive. This compares with one in 110 in 2002.

Last year the number of HIV diagnoses among injecting drug users rose and rates among new users are also up.

The Health Protection Agency said the rise was partly due to an increase in the numbers injecting crack cocaine.

The level of HIV infection among injecting drug users remained stable in London but saw a six-fold increase in areas outside the English capital from one in 500 (or 0.2%) in 2002 to one in 83 (1.2%) in 2005.
Source: BBC News 17th March 2006

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