Lib Dems make call to #factup about HIV on World AIDS Day
The Deputy Prime Minister, and Liberal Democrat leader, is calling on the nation to show support for people living with HIV, improve their understanding of the condition, and show their commitment to tackling HIV on Worlds AIDS Day, this Sunday 1 December.
The #FactUp campaign asks people to learn five simple facts about HIV in the UK. They have been put together by the National AIDS Trust to encourage people to think differently about HIV:
• If diagnosed and treated in time. People living with HIV live a normal lifespan.
• There is no job which someone can't do specifically because they have HIV
• Treatment can mean that people living with HIV are no longer infectious.
• Men and women living with HIV can become parents of a HIV-free baby.
• People living with HIV still face stigma and discrimination.
Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, in his statement for World AIDS Day said: "It's over 30 years since the first cases of HIV were officially diagnosed in this country. During that time, huge strides have been made in treatment and prevention - yet many myths still persist.
"That's a problem. Because it creates stigma, leads to discrimination and means some people don't get tested early enough to receive effective treatment and prevent the infection of others.
"Reducing undiagnosed HIV by getting people tested is essential to successfully fighting HIV. Anyone who has been at risk should test - nothing should stand in their way.
"That's why this World AIDS Day, it's important that all of us - government, families, workplaces, schools, colleges - do what we can to tell people the facts about HIV."
Adrian Trett, chair of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, said: "This year's World Aids Day in the UK is firmly putting the spotlight on reducing the stigma faced by many living with HIV. That's good news for the LGBT+ community, and I hope that given the numbers of people estimated to be undiagnosed that more come forwards to take a HIV test."
And Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, said: "I am proud to wear a red ribbon to mark this year's World AIDS Day. We need to support the day however we can. With health professionals estimating that a quarter of people with HIV are undiagnosed we must do more to improve HIV prevention and testing.
"For people living with HIV in the UK one of the biggest challenges is still stigma, which is often the result of ignorance about HIV and unnecessary fear. We need to break down this stigma and we can only do that by working together."