This year World Aids Day was on Thursday December 1st, and Nicola was proud to speak at a Parliamentary event hosted by the Terrence Higgins Trust. The event brought together people living with and affected by HIV, sector leaders and clinicians, as well as Parliamentarians.
The event was well attended and heard from people who have been diagnosed with HIV, campaigners and health professionals. There are an estimated 103,700 people living with HIV in the UK, with around a fifth (18,100) undiagnosed and unaware they have the virus and at risk of unknowingly passing the virus onto their sexual partners. Nicola has recently announced that Public Health England is awarding £600,000 to support HIV prevention projects across England. Parliament hosted a number of events to mark World Aids Day, including free testing, and the Government is working to raise awareness and end the stigma which is still sadly associated with HIV.
Nicola says: The importance of World Aids Day over the decades cannot be overstated and stopping HIV is a key priority. Although significant progress is being made to diagnose HIV earlier and the proportion of people with undiagnosed HIB has fallen from 25% to 13% since 2010, there is still more to be done.
I am clear we will keep working with Public Health England and NHS England to encourage people, particularly those from African communities who are often diagnosed late, to get tested and fight the stigma associated with HIV.