‘worryingly’ high numbers of people across South Yorkshire are unaware they are living with HIV, according to the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Some 59 per cent of people diagnosed in Rotherham between 2009 to 2011 were diagnosed late with the condition.
Meanwhile, 48 per cent of the 141 people diagnosed in Sheffield were also told they had HIV at a stage where treatment should already have started.
The figures are above the national average of 47 per cent which the Terrence Higgins Trust has described as ‘incredibly worrying’.
Someone who is diagnosed late is 10 times more likely to die within a year of diagnosis compared to someone who was diagnosed earlier.
A late diagnosis means that treatment should have already started. Although there is no cure for the disease, early diagnosis means treatment may be more effective.
Jane Morel, regional manager for the north at the Terrence Higgins Trust, which campaigns on behalf of people with the condition, said: “Public understanding of HIV has dropped to an incredibly worrying level.
“It is important that everyone, no matter their age or background, understands that nobody is immune from infection.”
Visit Sexual Health Sheffield for information about HIV and how to get tested for the condition in Sheffield.