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LONDON, Nov 25, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Britain's Health Protection Agency reports the number of HIV infections has skyrocketed, largely due to immigrants, Sky News said Thursday.
In its "Focus on Prevention" report, the agency said the country is "in the grip of a serious HIV epidemic" as the number of people with the infection reached 53,000 adults. It said more than 14,000 of them are unaware of their infection with the virus that causes AIDS.
The majority of new cases diagnosed in Britain are the result of people migrating from countries with the biggest HIV problem, especially Africa.
The Health Protection Agency says there were 6,606 new HIV infections diagnosed in Britain during 2003, although that number is expected to rise as high as 7,000 once all data was collected.
It marks a significant increase on the 6,017 cases diagnosed in 2002 and more than double the 2,835 cases in 1998.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.