World AIDS Day is a hugely important moment - both here in Britain and around the globe.
It’s a moment to reflect on the progress made, but it’s also a reminder of how much more we still have to do.
In recent years, there have been huge advances in treating HIV. And that means that if diagnosed early enough and treated properly, someone with HIV can live as long as someone without it.
But too often stigma and myth prevent that from happening. People are too afraid to go for tests and it isn’t caught early enough. It’s estimated that 20% of the people in Britain living with HIV don’t know that they have the condition.
We’ve got to bring that number down and get people the treatment they need. We’ve got to keep on putting every effort possible into education and awareness and what’s more we’ve got to fight discrimination against HIV everywhere we see it.
Today’s also a moment to remember our lasting commitment to the developing world. The UK’s already dedicated a billion pounds to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria and in the years ahead we’ve got to show every bit as much commitment abroad as we do at home.
This is what World AIDS Day is all about - renewing our determination and saving lives.
On this important day let us all pledge to fight HIV and AIDS with everything we’ve got and make sure that we in this generation weren’t found wanting.
Thank you for listening.