HIV: how late diagnosis hampers prevention

14 June 2016

This meeting took place on 15 June 2016. Read the transcript here.

37 per cent of HIV cases in London are diagnosed late.[2] Why is this? And what is the impact on Londoners?

The percentage of cases diagnosed late also varies from borough to borough, with Islington, the highest performing borough and Croydon the lowest.[4]

Late diagnosis disproportionately affects older adults, heterosexuals and black African people.[5] And if people don’t find out their HIV status, the risk of unknowingly infecting others increases. So what are the barriers that prevent people taking HIV tests and being diagnosed? And what can be done to prevent infection in the first place?

The London Assembly Health Committee will tomorrow discuss the current landscape of HIV in London and review HIV prevention services and strategies. The meeting will also discuss HIV awareness and stigma and the future challenges for London.

The following guests will be questioned:

  • Julie Billett, Public Health Lead on HIV Prevention, The Association of Directors of Public Health (UK)
  • Ian Green, Chief Executive, Terrence Higgins Trust
  • Monty Moncrieff, Chief Executive, London Friend
  • Parminder Sekhon, Executive Director of Programmes, NAZ Foundation

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 15 June at 2:00pm in The Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Notes to editors

  1. Full agenda papers.
  2. Public Health England, Annual Epidemiological Spotlight on HIV data in London: 2014 data.
  3. Late diagnosis of HIV is defined as having CD4 count of less than 350 cells per cubic millimetre within 3 months of diagnosis. It is associated with significantly heightened levels of HIV related illness and mortality, increased risk of onwards HIV transmission and higher healthcare costs.
  4. Public Health England, Annual Epidemiological Spotlight on HIV data in London: 2014 data.
  5. Centre for Public Health, Late diagnosis of HIV in the United Kingdom: An evidence review.
  6. Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.
  7. London Assembly Health Committee.
  8. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.