Next First Minister of Scotland must act with urgency in ensuring Scotland remains a world leader on HIV
Leading HIV and sexual health charities in Scotland are calling on the next Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and First Minister of Scotland to tackle transmission of HIV in Scotland as a matter of urgency.
In a letter to the leadership candidates, National AIDS Trust, Waverley Care and Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland t are asking that the next First Minister commits their personal support for Scotland’s goal of eliminating new transmission of HIV by 2030, and directs their new Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care to deliver on the 2021 SNP manifesto pledge to deliver a framework on how Scotland will achieve this goal.
Last World AIDS Day, the Scottish Government welcomed a proposal on how to achieve this goal, developed by a coalition of clinicians, academics and community, but only made commitments to deliver an anti-stigma campaign and establish a new group to prioritise next steps from the HIV Transmission Elimination Proposal. Scotland is now at risk of falling behind other areas of the UK in meeting its 2030 goal, particularly when it comes to the expansion of HIV testing. A funded Action Plan is now urgently needed.
If Scotland is to achieve its 2030 goals and remain a world leader on HIV, the Scottish Government needs to be both ambitious and proactive in their approach. Now is the time to act.