London remains the city with the highest number of HIV positive people in the UK. Although with over 12% of the UK’s population living there, this fact is hardly surprising. However, it is still the city where the number of HIV positive people is growing fastest. Some of this will be down to the high number of single people in London, enjoying all that being single in the capital has to offer, and with increased availability of HIV testing, more people will be getting tested.
However, despite the publicity for prevention and testing, one group of the population where HIV is covered by Channel 4, where HIV is increasing significantly: Gay Men at the extreme end of the London party scene who are injecting Crystal Meth.
Crystal Meth use is low in the UK, with 2012 figures showing from the Home Office having its use as the lowest of recorded illegal drugs. It has been a huge problem in the West Coast of the USA, South Africa and more recently prostitutes in the Czech Republic, but there are signs that its use is spreading to the UK with injecting it becoming popular as a chill-out on the gay scene in London, and more recently Manchester and Leeds. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has published a report showing that three times as many gay and bisexual men inject Meth in London than in the rest of England. Usually the drug is smoked, snorted or swallowed, but injecting it with shared needles and combining that with unprotected sex is seeing an increase in HIV and Hepatitis C infection rates.
If you are worried that your last partner may have been infected with HIV or Hepatitis C, then the only way to find out is to get tested. The Better2Know Early Detection Screen provides accurate test results just ten days after any incident you might be concerned about. It is available at our clinics in London, Leeds, Manchester and across the UK.
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