HIV: Women ‘failed by missed opportunities’

Women are being “failed” by missed opportunities to test for HIV, charities say.

Rates of HIV are falling in the UK, but rising for women in many parts of England.

Public Health England says half of women are diagnosed late, after they should have started treatment and after their health had already suffered. This is against a national average of 43%.

In many areas outside of London, new diagnoses among women went up, including by 9% in both the east of England and the east Midlands, 12% in the west Midlands and 15% in Yorkshire and Humber, while overall across all demographics, new HIV diagnoses have dropped by 6%.

Experts say women are often diagnosed late as they are often not seen as at risk.

BBC Breakfast reporter Jayne McCubbin met Adrienne, who was diagnosed at 52. She is now 70 and thanks to modern medicine her HIV is at levels so low it can’t be detected, and therefore can’t be transmitted.

But she says she still faces discrimination from people who think she can still pass it on.

Producer: Josh Parry. Camera: Andrew Swallow.

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