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