Today, I’m wearing my red ribbon with pride for World AIDS Day. In the last 30 years, since the first cases of HIV were discovered, we’ve travelled a huge distance in terms of research and treatment. Not least because advances in medication now mean that, if diagnosed and treated early enough, people living with HIV can live just as long as people without it.
In the UK we’re committed to tackling the global impacts of this disease – the ambition has to be a future with zero new infections and AIDS-related deaths. That’s why last year we invested £1 billion in the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. This money is helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world get lifesaving treatment.
But, of course, there is still a long way to go. And while the science has moved on, too many people’s attitudes have not. One in 3 people living with HIV say that they have experienced discrimination, because of their condition. That’s simply unacceptable. So, this World AIDS Day, please visit HIVaware.org.uk to get the facts about HIV and tell the people you know.
It’s critical that people have the right information, and that the next generation – through good sex education – understand the facts. Together, by wearing your red ribbon and tweeting your support using the hashtag #PutARibbonOnIt we can help break down the stigma that still surrounds this condition and show that there’s just no place for this kind of discrimination in modern Britain. So please get involved.
Today, let’s all do our bit.