Town HIV numbers are revealed

A charity has called for West Sussex County Council to improve testing for sexually transmitted diseases after the number of Crawley residents with HIV was revealed.

Crawley was named the town with the 14th highest percentage of people with HIV in the UK, excluding London in a report by the Health Protection Agency in 2011.

The findings showed that approximately one in 296 people in Crawley were living with type one HIV. The UK-wide the figure was one in 650.

It also found that 43 per cent of people living with HIV in Crawley were diagnosed late.

Deborah Jack, chief executive of National AIDs Trust (NAT), said that from April West Sussex County Council was made responsible for sexual health diagnosis and prevention.

A spokesman for WSCC said: “Public Health commissions the integrated sexual health services in West Sussex.

“One of the Public Health objectives is around earlier diagnosis of HIV, and we are working with the service providers to make sure we are appropriately screening and getting the messages, including awareness of HIV and general sexual health, to help the general population to protect their sexual health.

To find out more about NAT visit www.hivaware.org.uk/act-aware