Camden has seventh highest HIV rate in London

A new report has revealed that Camden has the seventh highest rate of HIV in all 32 London boroughs, as the council prepares to expand its role in public health.

Camden Council held a health scrutiny meeting last Wednesday (November 21) to debate how HIV and Aids patients in the borough will be affected when it takes over responsibility for some areas of public health in April 2013 under the coalition’s social care bill.

In Camden, the prevention and testing of HIV and Aids will fall with the local authority, while HIV and Aids treatment and care will remain with the NHS.

Concerns were raised that the split may detract from a streamlined, accessible service for patients.

A spokeswoman from the Terrence Higgins Trust, the largest HIV and Aids charity in the country, said the charity “did not see the division as particularly helpful”.

But Penny Bevan, Camden interim director on the move of public health to local authority control, said the decision will ensure that the best treatment is received by all patients.

Councillors and health representatives outlined new trends in HIV/AIDS prevalence in the borough, particularly the increased number of men over 50 who have the virus. The report also states that in 2009, 45 per cent of cases of HIV in Camden were diagnosed late, which increases the risk of AIDS and death.-