HIV infection rates across Lothian fall

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RATES of HIV infection across the Lothians are dropping down, but charities have warned levels are still far too high in the Capital.

Figures released this week show there were 54 new diagnoses between January and June, easily the highest in Scotland. But it still means that, should this trend continue, by the end of the year total numbers will have dropped from previous years.

Total numbers for people in the area currently living with the condition are around 2400.

Health chiefs said that was down to hard work with awareness campaigns, particularly persuading gay men to wear condoms.

Jane Morel, Scottish area manager for HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Once again this year, these new figures show that a worrying number of people are still being infected with HIV across Scotland – infections that are preventable and unnecessary.

“Nearly 50 per cent of people were diagnosed late, at a point where they should have already been receiving treatment, so it’s vital that we continue to encourage people to have regular HIV tests.”