Ananova reports that the number of people living with HIV in the UK increased 20% last year, but doesn't indicate whether or not this is the result of a greater number of infections, or improved health care.

Overall, the number of people living with HIV in the UK went up from 41,700 in 2001 to 49,500 in 2002. ...

The number of heterosexual cases picked up in the UK increased from 147 in 1998 to 275 in 2002.

Overall, there were 5,711 people newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2002 - expected to rise to 6,400 when all reports for the year are received.

Of these, 3,305 were heterosexually acquired and 1,691 were among gay and bisexual men.

So heterosexual infections increased over 4 years, but what about the 1-year period between 2001 and 2002?

A 20% surge in HIV infections over a single year is huge, and I don't think it can be accounted for as a natural fluctuation. My intuition tells me there are so many more people living with HIV largely because they aren't dying from AIDS, thanks to better health care. I'm sure the number of infections has risen as well, though, simply due to population increase.



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