House of Lords Library

HIV Infection in the United Kingdom

Published Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This House of Lords Library briefing provides background reading in advance of the question for short debate on 5 September 2016 regarding what plans the Government has to move toward the elimination of HIV in the United Kingdom.

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks specific cells of the immune system, weakening the body’s ability to fight infections and disease. If left untreated, the immune system can become severely damaged, often leading to the development of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). In 2014, an estimated 103,700 people were living with HIV in the United Kingdom. However, at present, there is currently no vaccine for HIV, with anti-retroviral drugs used in many countries both to prevent and treat the virus. In the United Kingdom, a course of drugs—known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)—is given to individuals who have already tested positive for the virus, whilst preventative treatment—known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—for individuals at-risk of contracting the virus, is not currently provided to patients outside of a clinical trials environment.

Lords In Focus LIF-2016-0042

Author: Eren Waitzman

Topics: Health education and preventive medicine, Medicine

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.