World AIDS Day

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting representatives of the Consortium on AIDS and International Development.  As you may know, Saturday is World AIDS day.  I think that this is an important time for all of us to take another look at the fight against the spread of AIDS, both in the UK and across the globe.  It is very easy, especially in the age of rolling news, for an issue to receive a lot of attention and then fall by the wayside while the problems continue.

The UK government has been a global leader in the response to the HIV AIDS epidemic.  It is the second biggest global donor to HIV & AIDS treatment and prevention to date.

–          Eight million people in low and middle-income countries have access to HIV treatment, compared to just 400,000 in 2003.

–          AIDS related deaths are declining – from a peak of 2.2m in the mid-2000s to 1.8m in 2010.

While this is good news, there is much more to be done.  Around 50% of HIV AIDS sufferers are heterosexual.  The disease is not age-specific, with a larger number of cases being reported by older people year on year.  It is vital that people from all walks of life , no matter what age, gender, race or sexual orientation make themselves aware of the facts about HIV & AIDS and support World AIDS day on Saturday.

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