Around 100,000 people live in the UK with HIV or AIDs. It’s estimated that 36.7 million people globally have the virus and more than 35 million people have died since it’s discovery in 1984; making it one of the most destructive diseases in history.
Each year around 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK. It’s not only living with the disease that carriers suffer from but the stigma and prejudice they face daily. The negativity held towards HIV can result in carrier offering from mental health issues, isolation and damaging self-esteem.
World AIDS Day charity said it “is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.”
The Eddystone Trust is a charity working in Gloucestershire work with HIV+ individuals. Andrew Evans, Director of Operations and Finance, began to explain the work they do.
“Throughout all of Gloucestershire we provide services to HIV+ individuals which because of the stigma and discrimination they can have significant mental health issues with a positive diagnosis. So their health and wellbeing can be quite critical”
Mr Evans then began to talk about how they plan intervene in schools in the future. The Eddystone Trust see overcoming the issue as a continuous pathway.
“We are now in the position were RSC, relationship and sex education, is being bought in by the government. The plan is that the outline of what needs to be taught will be formulated by September 2018
“It’s all about keeping the momentum going that it’s not just a one of information session that they receive and that its a continuous process of education.”
Leaders, including the Prime Minster Theresa May, have come out in full force to show their support for the campaign.
— Conservatives Group (@ConservativesGE) December 1, 2017
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) December 1, 2017
If you would like to donate, visit the World AIDS Day shop where you can buy merchandise that supports suffers and helps to champion the rights of people living with HIV in the UK.