HC Deb 17 July 1991 vol 195 cc189-90W
Sir Michael McNair-Wilson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many persons in the United Kingdom are currently estimated to have AIDS or are HIV positive; and how many of these people have been notified and are known by name.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

The AIDS case reports for the United Kingdom to the end of May 1991 total 4,666—4,412 males and 254 females—of which 2,695—2,568 males and 127 females—are known to have died. Adjusting for an estimated under-reporting rate of 20 per cent. would give a current estimate of 2,500 AIDS patients in the United Kingdom at the end of May 1991. These were all individuals tested in named testing programmes who would have been informed of their results.

The HIV antibody positive reports received at the PHLS communicable disease surveillance centre numbered 15,337 for the United Kingdom at the end of March 1991. However, this represents an underestimate of the total number of infected persons because it is based only on those who have presented for testing. These people also would have been informed of their results.

Names are not collected centrally.

In addition we have available the results of the first phase of the anonymised HIV surveys.

These indicate that among women attending, certain ante-natal clinics in inner London the rate of HIV prevalence is one in 500. These figures show a fivefold range from about one in 200 to more than one in 1,000. In the small number of clinics surveyed in outer London there was a wider range from about one in 300 to one in 2,500, but half these clinics had no positive results. In other parts of the country only one of 16,000 tests performed was positive.

Among heterosexual women attending certain sexually transmitted diseases—STD—clinics in inner London prevalence is one in 500. It is, however, one in 100 for heterosexual men. Among homosexual and bisexual men attending the same clinics the current prevalence rate is one in five.

These preliminary results provide valuable information, but because they are based on studies of specific groups of people in selected areas they do not enable us to estimate the number of people in the general population that are HIV positive.

More information about prevalence will become available as further results are published.

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