Stephen has spoken out ahead of World AIDS Day by calling for ‘Zero HIV’ – an end to HIV transmissions and the elimination of HIV-related stigma at the Terrence Higgins Trust’s reception in Parliament. The reception was held a few days ahead of the 30th ever World AIDS Day on 1 December. The reception brought together politicians, campaigners, medics and people affected by HIV.
The event featured remarks by Minister for Public Health, Steve Brine MP and Terrence Higgins Trust Patron, Lord Michael Cashman. Over three decades after the HIV epidemic began in the UK, HIV was back at the top of the agenda in Parliament ahead of World AIDS Day. Decision-makers also heard from Bakita Kasadha, a young HIV activist.
Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum including Stephen wore their red ribbons with pride, while reflecting on how far we’ve come, but how far we still have to go to end HIV transmissions in the UK as we strive towards ‘Zero HIV’.
Stephen said: “Thirty on from the very first World AIDS Day, it continues to be an incredibly important as a day of action, awareness and remembrance, so I’m pleased to offer my support to Terrence Higgins Trust’s ‘Zero HIV’ campaign.”
“This year we have seen a further decline in new HIV diagnoses across the country, and new medical advances mean that people living with HIV can now expect to have a normal life expectancy. However, we must not become complacent as HIV stigma continues to be one of the biggest barriers to people being tested for HIV and coming forward for support. No one must be left behind in the UK’s HIV response as we work towards ending all new transmissions and eradicating stigma.”
Ian Green, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, added: “This World AIDS Day we’re calling for ‘Zero HIV’, which means zero new HIV transmissions and zero HIV-related stigma. Because we can’t do one without the other.”