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Dec 01

Let’s end HIV stigma

Today is World AIDS Day when we remember the 35 million who have died from the disease over the last 30 years and renew our determination to stop HIV. It’s time to end stigma for good.NAT_Stigma2

Being diagnosed with HIV today is very different from receiving a diagnosis decades ago. The treatment available today means people with HIV can have a full and active life. However, people’s negative attitudes can still put people off getting regular HIV tests and can still make living with HIV difficult.

Across the world, over 34 million people have the HIV virus, with around 100,000 people in the UK living with HIV. Around 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK each year.

World AIDS Day is an annual reminder to us all that HIV has not gone away. Raising awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education are still vital today.

Here in Liverpool, Sahir House, which offers free and confidential advice to people living with or affected by HIV on Merseyside, is supporting a free event from 5pm-7pm today at St Brides Church, Percy Street, Liverpool L8 7LT. The event will have information stalls from partner agencies, guest speakers, a choir and the remembrance list read out by candlelight.

At the Royal Hospital, specialist nurses are hosting events including a stall with posters; information leaflets a quiz with prizes and red ribbons.

On Sunday, St Bride’s 10am service will remember those who’ve died and celebrate the lives of people living with HIV. Everyone is welcome of all faiths and none.

You can find out much more through the Sahir House HIV Info Line on 0151 237 3990.