The UK has 'entered an era of complacency' about HIV and AIDS and risks undermining the progress of the 1980s and 1990s, says a report by the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV.

Public Health Policy and HIV/AIDS, published today, calls on the government to show similar commitment in the UK as it has in its response to the global epidemic.

'We are in danger of failing to meet the sexual health and HIV prevention needs of people in our country. The extraordinary success in improving medical treatment for HIV/AIDS has lulled us into a false sense of complacency,' warned group chair Baroness Gould. She called for 'the same tenacity and energy we showed 20 years ago'.

The group called for national and local leadership on HIV/AIDS and identified imperatives including better funding, earlier testing and increasing awareness of HIV.

Paul Ward, deputy chief executive of sexual health and AIDS at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: 'I'd go one step further and call on the government to ringfence all public health monies.'

Last week the Department of Health announced increased local authority grants from£16.5m to£17.6m each year over the next three years for the commissioning related to HIV and AIDS.

It is the first increase in this funding since 2001, although the number of people with the disease has tripled in the past seven years.

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