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This post was published on 28/10/10 in Science, The sex trade.

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  1. Comment by Gary Hammond, 29/10/10, 03:10:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Always enjoy coming here and seeing your direct opinions on subjects but seldom feel the urge to comment.
    Excuse me for being pedantic but doesn’t the first table show us a wave of diagnoses in the UK rather than a wave of infections in the UK? Also I would be interested to see the tables if we were to also remove those people who were identified as white (or for who there was no data), to see how this would change the wave and by how much.

    Although your key point is perfectly valid that there are infections happening amongst Africans living in the UK I must respectfully disagree about the lack of targeted interventions within this group. We do have a functional HIV sector which is targeting African people in the UK. The National African HIV Prevention Programme (funded by the Department of Health) are currently engaged in a whole host of activities targeted specifically at UK African communities. There are a lot of people who are doing some great work to address HIV prevention needs within this population.

    One of the fundamental reasons for the lack of such high profile campaigns is not to do with the more salacious media representation of such interventions but more to do with a historical under investment in funding such initiatives. Also we have had for a number of years a framework to work within in terms of HIV prevention needs of gay men, which has enabled a certain degree of interagency mutual understanding to strive towards a common goal. Thankfully there now exists the same for the African HIV prevention sector and a website to encourage better targeted interventions:


    However your point about UK faith leaders and their role in this epidemic IS a valid point and would perhaps be best served by a whole post of its own!

    Best wishes

  2. Comment by elizabeth, 29/10/10, 03:21:

    Thanks for this. Of course you’re right about diagnoses rather than infections.

    Funnily enough, I was on the Sigma site this morning and just saw for the first time the link to the new African prevention site. I’m very glad to see it. My comments about the absence/insufficiency of such initiatives were based in part on a discussion with a provider of HIV services in my borough, Hackney, where the epidemic is overwhelmingly among people of African origin.

  3. Comment by Muscleguy, 30/10/10, 04:27:

    I just wonder with the figures in the graphs where the national education campaigns on HIV are these days? Perhaps I just consume the wrong media but there seems to be very little and what there is is not scary enough.

    The young in particular seem very blasé. The recent Hospital series on iirc C4 had one teenage lass who had sex once and is now HIV positive. The same program (in a South London sexual health clinic) showed teenagers of both sexes being infected repeatedly and just expecting to be fixed by the medics. Ignorance kills and it seems to be doing so. Sure the modern drugs mean more slowly but it also means more spread.

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