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diagnoses remain high

diagnoses remain high

Gay sex linked to 31% of new U.K. HIV infections reported in 2005.

Health officials in the United Kingdom say they expect year-end data to show more than 7,750 new HIV diagnoses in the country during 2005, an increase over 2004 levels, BBC News reports. Unprotected heterosexual sex accounted for about 52% of the cases reported in 2005 to the nation's Health Protection Agency, with unprotected gay sex accounting for about 31% of new infections.

Although much of the overall increase is due to higher HIV antibody testing rates in the U.K., health officials say the rising infection rate also shows that people are increasingly engaging in unsafe sex.

"The rise in sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, is a serious problem that we are determined to tackle," public health minister Caroline Flint, told BBC News. "That is why we have committed over PS300 million ($535 million U.S.) to modernize sexual health services as well as [make] sexual health one of the seven key national priorities for the National Health Service next year." (

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