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From 1990 to 1998, new diagnoses of HIV infection in the United Kingdom (UK) averaged 2675 per year, most among homosexual men. In 1999, however, a rapid increase in numbers of new diagnoses began (figure 1). By the end of March this year there were 5338 reports of new HIV diagnoses in 2002, representing a 28% increase on numbers of new diagnoses in 2001, reported by the same time last year. The number is predicted to rise to over 6000 new HIV diagnoses in 2002 as further reports are received. In contrast, the numbers of new AIDS diagnoses increased annually peaking in 1994 at 1854, until the widespread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the mid nineties led to a fall, numbers stabilising in the late nineties, with 647 new AIDS diagnoses in 2002 reported so far.


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