DIAGNOSIS of HIV has soared by more than 20 per cent in the past ten years across the south.

New figures revealed today show that there were 319 people newly diagnosed with the disease in the south central region, which covers Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, up by 21 per cent from 2001.

In total there were 3,436 people in HIV care last year, more than three-and-a-half times the 2001 total of 937.

Experts put the increase in diagnosis down to a combination of factors, including the fact that more people are getting tested and the failure of others to take precautions with new partners.