Neil Findlay MSP pledged to support the actions of Scotland’s anti-stigma strategy to reach zero HIV stigma in Scotland.
Ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1 third sector organisations along with people living with and affected by HIV came together to launch Scotland’s first HIV Anti-Stigma Strategy.
“Stigma is still a huge issue for people living with HIV in Scotland. It is one of the biggest barriers to testing, can stop people from accessing treatment and support. Often people fear telling family, friends and partners their status which can lead to isolation and mental health problems.
“By working together and taking a strong position on addressing stigma, inequality and social exclusion, we can make real different to the lives of people living with HIV.”
George Valiotis, CEO of HIV Scotland said:
“Scotland has all the right tools to reach zero new HIV infections. To achieve this reality, we need a collaborative effort bringing people from a range of communities, organisations and sectors to address stigma. It’s fantastic to see MSPs supporting the strategy and committing to helping Scotland reach zero HIV stigma.”
Scotland’s HIV Anti-Stigma Strategy: Road Map to Zero was launched on Tuesday 28th November ahead of World AIDS Day.
About the Strategy
- Scotland’s HIV Anti-Stigma strategy: Road Map to Zero will be available at www.zeroHIVstigma.scot
- The next steps of Scotland’s Anti-Stigma Strategy is to continue work with decision makers and other partners to determine practical and measurable activism ad share responsibility for ending HIV-related stigma.
- The Anti-Stigma Consortium worked collaboratively to create the Road Map. The Consortium was made up of individuals living with and affected by HIVacademic researchers, NHS and third sector organisations including National AIDS Trust (NAT), Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), People Living with HIV UK stigma index, Positive Help, Hwupenyu Health and Wellbeing, and HIV Scotland.
About HIV in Scotland
- There are 5134 people diagnosed as living with HIV in Scotland.
- There were 317 new cases of HIV reported in 2016, this is the lowest annual figure recorded since 2003.
- 13% of people living with HIV in Scotland are unware of their status.
- A person living with HIV, successfully on treatment, can achieve an undetectable level of HIV virus. This means not only they will be healthier, but will not pass the virus onto others.
• PrEP is an HIV prevention measure where people who do not have HIV use medication to protect themselves from getting HIV. Scotland led the way by allowing PrEP on the NHS, expanding their prevention options and contributing to the global mission against HIV.