Bradford’s first in-depth study of HIV and Aids is to start next week as experts forecast a rise in the number of sufferers.

There are now about 450 people in the district accessing care for Aids or HIV.

This figure is expected to rise to 550 by 2012 but, as an estimated 30 per cent of people do not know they have the virus, the actual figure could well be more than 700. The study will look at the number of people with the condition, forecasts, what support is available and what more is needed in the future.

Bradford Council received an Aids support grant from the Government of £137,000 this year to provide support such as counselling and advice and community events for people living with the disease.

Yorkshire MESMAC’s OUR Project is contracted to fulfil this role, with other services provided by the NHS, Bradford Council’s Adult Services’ social care teams and other agencies and voluntary sector organisations.

More services are needed, according to a new report, because of the growing pressure on current support due to issues such as an ageing HIV population and the stigma surrounding it.

The report by independent consultant Hazel Bone was commissioned by Bradford Council’s Adult and Community Services and will be showcased on Friday, February 5, at the Great Victoria Hotel from noon to 2.30pm.

Speakers will include Baroness Gould, chairman of the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, and Councillor Dale Smith, executive member for adult and community services and chairman of the strategic disability partnership.

Coun Smith said: “This report gives a very detailed picture of how HIV and Aids is affecting our district. There is a great deal of good work being done to support people. This research shows that we have to expand on this so we can provide help where it is most needed.”