World Aids Day
One in Four people in the West Midlands don't know they have HIV.
On World Aids Day, doctors are calling for wider testing across the region, as we hear the numbers of people contracting the infection has gone up in the last two years.
The total number of people living with HIV in the region and accessing care last year was 4,141
Mum of two, Marie from Birmingham found out she had HIV 9 years ago she says it's sometimes tough living with the stigma which is often still attached to it...but it hasn't stopped her living her life tothe full and having a family.
Professor Harsh Duggal, Sexual Health lead for the HPA in the West Midlands, said "It's good news that numbers overall are decreasing, but it’s a concern that the safe sex message is still not being heard by some people."
"People can play their part in HIV prevention by ensuring they protect themselves by practising safer sex with all new and casual partners. Anyone who thinks they have put themselves at risk of contracting infection should see a GP or attend a sexual health clinic as soon as they can."
Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) with the highest rates of diagnosis across our region include Heart of Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.
Expanded HIV testing is recommended in areas where the number of people diagnosed is greater than 2 per 1,000 population. In the West Midlands two PCTs are among 37 across England where numbers are greater than this national threshold.