Press releases

Press releases and statements about HIV and related topics

National AIDS Trust response to 'COVID-19 and HIV' report from All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS 

Monday, October 5, 2020

National AIDS Trust response to 'COVID-19 and HIV' report from All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS 

The APPG on HIV and AIDS published its report on COVID-19 and HIV at a launch event today chaired by Stephen Doughty MP and attended by Minister for Public Health, Jo Churchill MP.

Kat Smithson, Director of Policy at National AIDS Trust, said:

“This is an incredibly important and timely report by the APPG on HIV and AIDS on the impact of COVID-19.

“HIV, like COVID-19, is a condition which is impacted by a wide range of intersecting factors, including the marginalisation of certain groups and communities. COVID-19 has made worse existing inequalities in HIV in the UK and it’s vital that this pandemic doesn’t undermine some of the recent progress made in HIV prevention and treatment in the UK.

“The Minister for Public Health, Jo Churchill MP, stated at the launch event today that ‘levelling up’ of the unequal impact of poor health is a priority for Government. To do this, it’s critical that efforts are redoubled to ensure Black and other ethnic minority populations are properly involved and are resourced to take a lead on addressing the impact of HIV on their communities.

“The report rightly acknowledges the growing mental health challenges facing people living with HIV. People living with HIV were twice as likely to experience poor mental health prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so this was already an area of huge unmet need. We cannot have a perfect storm, where mental health support needs increase but the impact of COVID-19 means the system can’t respond. To address this, we need to ensure voluntary sector and specialised clinical mental health services are urgently prioritised in HIV care.

“We were pleased to hear Jo Churchill MP re-affirm the Government’s endorsement of the independent HIV Commission process and her recognition that the final report will be timed well to consider the impact of COVID-19. We hope this translates into concrete actions taken as part of the promised Government HIV Action Plan, which should outline a roadmap to achieve the national target to end any new HIV transmissions by 2030. The Minister again pledged to reach this target, and we look forward to working with the Government to achieve this."

ENDS
 

Notes to editors 

Case studies on COVID-19 and HIV available on request by contacting press@nat.org.uk

Contact press@nat.org.uk for further information or comment.

About National AIDS Trust:

National AIDS Trust is the UK's HIV rights charity. We work to stop HIV from standing in the way of health, dignity and equality, and to end new HIV transmissions.

www.nat.org.uk

NAT Topic