The lifespan of people with HIV in the UK has increased by 15 years over a decade, according to a study.

A report published in BMJ by UK researchers has emphasized that health establishments should consider more extensive testing for HIV, given the benefits of early treatment.

It is believed that there are over 80,000 people in UK with HIV, and about 25% are ignorant about the fact that they have HIV.

According to the BBC, a team led by Dr. Margaret May of the University of Bristol looked at the life expectancy of the average 20-year-old starting treatment with anti-retroviral drugs between 1996-1999 and 2006-2008.

However, average life expectancy rose from 30 to 46 years, according to the data at that time, as reported in BMJ. Also, The Terrence Higgins Trust said that people at risk should go for a test.

The study also found that a woman with HIV is expected to survive a decade longer than a man with HIV, perhaps because women are tested for HIV during pregnancy and are likely to start treatment early.

"These results are very reassuring news for current patients and will be used to counsel those recently found to be HIV-positive," co-author, Dr. Mark Gompels was quoted by the BBC.

Chief executive Sir Nick Partridge said: "It also demonstrates why it's so much better to know if you have HIV. Late diagnosis and late treatment mean an earlier grave, so if you've been at risk for HIV, get tested now."

"Of course, it's not just length of life that's important, but quality of life too, and having HIV can still severely damage your life's chances. While so much has changed 30 years on from the start of the epidemic, condoms continue to be the best way to protect yourself and your partner from HIV in the first place," he added.