Today is a day of global remembrance of all the souls we have lost and all the souls impacted and affected by HIV and AIDS. National AIDS Trust is committed to stopping new cases of HIV, securing the rights of people living with HIV, and fighting HIV stigma and discrimination. People living with HIV are at the heart of what we do, and this year’s World AIDS Day campaign is no different. We’re celebrating the diverse group of people who make up this community and celebrating the HIV allies who stand shoulder to shoulder with them and fight for HIV rights.
As we mark 40 years since the first reported cases of HIV-related illnesses and deaths, we can see how far we’ve come since the times when being diagnosed with HIV was a death sentence. Now, 98% of people living with HIV in the UK are on effective treatment and 97% can’t pass the virus on.
Today an estimated 105,200 people live with HIV in the UK. Yet our recent research found 63% of the public do not remember seeing or hearing about HIV in the past six months. Only a third said they have sympathy for people living with HIV regardless of how they acquired it.
Our survey also found 1 in 5 think people think you can acquire HIV through kissing. Only 16% knew if someone is on effective treatment, they can’t pass HIV on and can expect to live a long and healthy life.
World AIDS Day is the perfect time for us to improve these stats and raise much needed awareness about HIV.