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The government will continue supporting efforts to prevent HIV transmission in the UK, the Public Health Minster said today.

Welcoming World AIDS Day, Caroline Flint said today is an opportunity to focus on what needs to be done to tackle the virus.

She warned that the UK should not be complacent about its attitude, “Here in the UK whilst we remain a relatively low prevalence country for HIV, rates of HIV are rising and we need to ensure that we reinvigorate HIV and AIDS awareness for the 21st Century.”

It comes after a Health Protection Agency report revealed that three in every hundred gay men who attended an STI clinic in the last year had acquired HIV, HIV expert at the Agency, Dr Valerie Delpech, said: “The high level of new HIV cases being diagnosed continued in 2005 with 7450 cases recorded, including almost 2400 new cases in gay men.”

Ms Flint called for stronger prevention, “It is especially significant in this, the 25th year of the epidemic, for us to take stock, and to strengthen our efforts through partnerships and joint action to prevent the transmission of HIV, and to ensure access to testing and treatment for those most at risk.”

Earlier this week, the minister unveiled a government pledge of an extra £1m to be invested in work to tackle the rise in HIV cases amongst gay men and African communities in the UK.

“We will continue to strive to meet these aims both here and in support for programmes in developing countries, and I welcome the occasion of World AIDS Day as a focus for this vital work,” she added.