Researchers found a compound in the tea stops the virus binding to cells in the immune system.
Prof Mike Williamson of Sheffield University said, "It could reduce the risk of infection and help slow the spread of HIV."
But he added, "It is not a cure or safe way to avoid infection. It could be used to improve quality of life for those infected."
The Health Protection Agency said the number of U.K. residents with the virus has risen to a high of about 63,500 adults, but 20,000 may not even know.
THE World Health Organisation yesterday backed circumcision for heterosexual men in countries with high HIV rates after trials showed it could halve infections.
From the April 9, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash