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Aids

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services since what date his Department has been using the figure of up to 40,000 as the possible number of AIDS infections in the United Kingdom.

As I explained in my reply to the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) on 26 October at column 191, the Department no longer makes an estimate of the number of people with HIV infection in the United Kingdom. Numbers of reported cases of AIDS are published monthly and numbers of reported HIV positive tests are reported quarterly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether his projection of those who are HIV positive going on to develop AIDS within five years takes into account recent data from studies into this matter undertaken in Frankfurt, and by Redfield in the United States of America.

In considering future numbers of cases of HIV infection and AIDS, we take account of all relevant data produced in other countries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has as to for how many days the human immunodeficiency virus is potentially infectious in liquid suspensions held at room temperature.

Relevant experimental work on the survival of HIV conducted in the United States was reported in 1986. In liquid suspension held at room temperature with starting concentrations higher than might be expected under natural conditions, viable virus was claimed to have been recovered for up to 15 days.

To ask for the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any information as to the inefectivity of AIDS by droplet from children suffering from chronic lymphoid intestitial pneumonitis and pulmonary tuberculosis consequent upon AIDS infections.

We have no specific information on the infectivity of HIV in children with AIDS suffering from chronic lymphoid intestitial pneumonitis and pulmonary tuberculosis. The available evidence suggests HIV is not spread by droplets from these or any other cases.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will institute a weekly monitor of the number of HIV infections and AIDS cases within the United Kingdom.

The Communicable Diseases Surveillance Centre and the Communicable Diseases (Scotland) Unit continually monitor reports of positive HIV antibody test results and cases of AIDS.Numbers of reported cases of AIDS, are published monthly and numbers of reported HIV positive tests are reported quarterly. We do not propose to publish the statistics more frequently because of the resources that this would involve and the fluctuations to which the figures would be subject.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services, if he has any plans to improve clinical reporting of AIDS data to the communicable disease surveillance centre.

The current voluntary confidential system for reporting positive HIV antibody test results and cases of AIDS to the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre has already provided much valuable information. The group of experts, which I mentioned in my replies to my hon. Friend on 4 December, at column 759 and today, has been considering the current surveillance systems and how any improvements could be made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what information he has on the estimate made by the Paddington and North Kensington health authority of the number of beds needed for AIDS patients in 1992; and if he will make a statement.

We keep in close touch with the regional health authorities with the largest numbers of AIDS patients. However, it is for individual health authorities to plan services for those patients in the light of guidelines issued by the Department.