How many people are living with HIV in Northern Ireland? It seems that that questions brings different answers from different organisations.

The latest figures from the Public Health Agency stated

There are now 474 people living with HIV infection in Northern Ireland.

However, Rob Anderson, Chairman of The HIV Support Centre said:

In Northern Ireland there are approximately 1000 people living with HIV in Northern Ireland however it is estimated that this could be as high as 1250.

It would be interesting to know what the true figure is.

With a little bit of curiosity I found the following information…

The HPA shows that there have been 812 diagnoses of HIV in NI. Where have all these people gone?

The Health Promotion Agency (UK) has a report stating that there have been 812 diagnoses of HIV in people in Northern Ireland since before 1995 until June 2011. This is very interesting. Although it states that there have been just under a hundred deaths this still means that there about 720 people diagnosed in Northern Ireland who are still living.

The questions has to be asked. Are they still living here? Have they moved? Are they not showing up in other information because they are not accessing care?

It is clear that without testing many more of the population, we will never know how many people are living with HIV here. But perhaps that is one way forward. Test everyone.