Government Launches Action Plan to 'End' New HIV Infections by 2030

Priscilla Lynch 

December 02, 2021

The Government has launched a new HIV action plan, supported with over £23 million of funding, which aims to reduce new infections by 80% by 2025 and end infections and deaths in England by 2030.

The action plan, Towards Zero: the HIV Action Plan for England - 2022 to 2025, was developed with the help of the HIV Oversight Group, chaired by Dame Inga Beale, and launched to mark World Aids Day on December 1.

To progress towards the 2030 goal of having no new HIV infections, AIDS and HIV-related deaths in England, this new HIV action plan outlines more detail on the interim target which will be met by 2025:

  • To reduce the number of people first diagnosed in England from 2860 in 2019, to under 600 in 2025;

  • To reduce the number of people diagnosed with AIDS within three months of HIV diagnosis from 219 to under 110;

  • To reduce deaths from HIV/AIDS in England from 230 in 2019 to under 115.

To achieve these targets, the plan will:

  • Prevent new infections by expanding and improving proven HIV prevention activities, investing £3.5 million in a National HIV Prevention Programme from 2021 to 2024 and increasing access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for key groups continues.

  • Scale up HIV testing in high-risk populations where uptake is low to ensure new infections are identified rapidly. This will include expanding opt-out testing in emergency departments backed by an additional £20 million over the next 3 years.

  • Ensure diagnosed people rapidly receive treatment to stop onwards transmission and achieve optimal long-term health outcomes, as well as supporting everyone living with HIV to stay in treatment.

The government said that its current HIV prevention methods are working – there has been a 35% reduction in new HIV diagnoses in England between 2014 and 2019; one of the biggest decreases worldwide.

Prof Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director, said: “Excellent progress has been made to increase diagnoses in key groups, in particular, with gay and bisexual men, which has meant that new HIV diagnoses in this group fell from a peak of 2980 in 2014 to 1890 in 2018, and fell even lower to 1580 diagnosed in 2019. This is a 47% and 16% drop, respectively."

The action plan will set out how to maintain this progress, as well as improve diagnosis for high-risk groups, particularly Black Africans who remain the ethnic group with the highest rate of HIV.

Commenting on the new plan, Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: "We will end new HIV infections in England by the end of the decade."

"We’ve made excellent progress already with transmissions continuing to fall across England and we are well on our way towards our ambition of zero HIV transmissions and deaths by 2030."

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