Fall in condom use 'has led to HIV rise in gay men'

A rise in HIV infections among gay and bisexual men is down to a reduction in condom use among these groups.

This is the suggestion of new research published in the journal PLoS One, which found a 26 per cent rise between 1990 and 2010 in the proportion of gay males who do not wear this form of contraception when having sex.

Carried out by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and a number of universities, the study revealed a larger climb in diagnoses has only been prevented thanks to increased use of anti-retroviral drugs.

Dr Valerie Delpech, co-author of the report and head of surveillance at the HPA - which is an independent UK organisation established by the government in 2003 - said: "Everyone should use a condom when having sex with new or casual partners, until all partners have had a sexual health screen."

She also recommended men who have sex with other males are screened for HIV and sexually transmitted infections at least once a year.