Raising awareness for World AIDS Day

This week in parliament you may have noticed I have been wearing a little red ribbon, this is in support of World AIDS Day on the 1st of December.

The campaign this year aims to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. There are over 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus.

Today, scientific advantages have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK around 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV.

It is shocking that some people still do not know the basic facts of how HIV is transmitted, for example 16% of people incorrectly think that HIV can be passed on through kissing, that figure is up from 9% in 2010.

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Here are some facts:

  • The number of people living with diagnosed HIV and accessing care is high and increased by 5% from 2013 to 2014.
  • The number and proportion of people with HIV on treatment and attaining viral suppression continues to increase.
  • Treatment coverage is proportionately lower in young adults.
  • There is an ageing cohort of people living with HIV with almost 1 in 6 now aged over 55.
  • People diagnosed with HIV in the UK today can have a near-normal life expectancy and live healthy and active lives.
  • HIV is not spread through day-to-day contact, touching, kissing or sharing utensils. In addition, being on HIV treatment makes people with HIV far less likely to pass it on.
  • HIV and AIDS are different. AIDS is a syndrome, a collection of symptoms. AIDS cannot itself be transmitted, nor can there be an AIDS virus, nor an AIDS carrier.

Syria Debate

Lots more information can be found here –

HIV Scotland

HIV Aware

Life with HIV

National AIDS Trust

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