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GPs urged to take on HIV testing

GPs could be asked take on responsibility for HIV testing in a bid to tackle the increasing number of people in the UK who do not know they are infected.

A letter to ministers from MPs and charities says the level of undiagnosed HIV is ‘a huge public health issue' and calls for testing to be made available in GP surgeries and other community settings.

The call, released to coincide with World Aids Day - comes after the Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed last week that 28% of people with HIV (more than 21,000) were unaware that they had it.

According to the HPA, new national testing guidelines recommend wider HIV testing in areas where prevalence of the infection is greatest, including London, parts of the south coast, Manchester and Blackpool.

Guidelines state that men and women aged 15 to 59 should be offered an HIV test when they register with a GP or are admitted for treatment.

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