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May, Corbyn, Sturgeon and Cable speak out for World AIDS Day

Friday, November 30, 2018

The leaders of the main UK political parties have issued messages – mainly on video - of hope and solidarity for World AIDS Day, and outlined necessary steps for the future of fighting the HIV epidemic.

The Prime Minister, who issued a written message, said: “…We need to focus our attention on preventing the spread of HIV at home and abroad. We need to improve awareness of treatment and testing, eliminate the stigma of being HIV+, and support people who are most at risk of infection.” She added, “In the UK, we have seen a 28 per cent drop in new HIV diagnoses between 2015 and 2017.”

Video messages can be accessed here.

Jeremy Corbyn said: “AIDS left an indelible mark on many lives, many families and on our communities. But now a future with no new HIV infections is a real possibility.” He added, “Most HIV transmissions in Britain happen when people don’t know they have HIV. That’s why testing is so important; we must make sure that testing services are widely available in sexual health services, online and of course in the community.”

Nicola Sturgeon said: "We have ensured that through NHS Scotland, the HIV medication PrEP is available to those most at risk of infection, and we’re continuing to urge the UK Government to consider the introduction of safe [drugs] consumption rooms." 

Vince Cable said: "There is still a serious stigma hanging around this illness and that’s all the more reason that we wear this badge [the red ribbon], which is to commemorate the 35 million who have died since AIDS was first diagnosed but also to look forward to positive action to reducing this blight in future."

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) said: “As always, it is great to see our political leaders show their support on World AIDS Day, which is both a day of remembrance and hope for the future. Much has been achieved but now is no time for complacency. Disinvestment now would jeopardise our progress, so I urge our politicians from all parties to follow these words with continued action against the virus and against prejudice.”

There are over 101,000 people living with HIV in the UK. World AIDS Day is a chance to show support and solidarity. Dec 1 this year is the 30th World AIDS Day. The Rock the Ribbon campaign compels people to wear a red ribbon – the symbol of HIV awareness – with pride.

For more details or further comment, contact senior press officer Charlie Alderwick: charlie.alderwick@nat.org.uk 020 7814 6727

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About NAT

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.

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