Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s World AIDS Day Message 2016
1 December 2016
World AIDS Day is a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come, but also how far we’re still to go when it comes to our response to HIV in this country.
There are over 100,000 people living with HIV in Britain. The National Health Service provides what is amongst the best treatment and care in the world. Our health services perform extremely well against United Nations’ targets in making sure that people diagnosed with HIV in Britain benefit from treatment available.
Yet while medical advances continue, social attitudes remain stuck in the past. HIV stigma is a daily reality and is experienced in situations where people should feel supported and valued: at work, in education and when accessing services. Stigma also threatens the success of our response to HIV in Britain by creating a barrier to access for prevention, testing and of course treatment services.
Last year, around 6,000 people, when newly diagnosed with HIV, 2 in 5 received their diagnosis at the point afterwards they should already started treatment. Until we rid our society of HIV stigma, we will not succeed in our efforts to support people living with HIV to live well and prevent new HIV cases. We’re committed to showing leadership against the HIV stigma, but we also need to take responsibility for our attitudes and make sure we understand the facts about HIV in our country.
Let’s stamp out HIV stigma once and for all. We can all show our solidarity with people living with and affected by HIV this World AIDS Day. One way I’m doing this is by wearing the red ribbon and encourage you all to do the same.