Today, marks World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness of both AIDS and HIV and mourning those who have died of the disease.
Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day. This year’s campaign is calling to end AIDS and HIV, using the hashtag #LetsEndIt.
The campaign also hopes to fight ignorance and discrimination against the 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK. HIV discrimination can still limit opportunities and prevent them from living a full and happy life.
Having HIV also means that you are more likely to live in poverty and more likely to have poor mental health.
However, a recent report conducted by Public Health England, revealed that the UK is moving towards the elimination of HIV transmission.
The report finds that since the beginning of the UK epidemic, the number of HIV diagnoses in gay and bisexual men has fallen.
Speaking at the time of the report, Matthew Hodson of NAM aidsmap said, “The progress we have made in diagnosing, treating and preventing HIV has been astonishing.”
“Twenty-one years ago an HIV diagnosis was considered a death sentence but now life expectancy for someone promptly diagnosed and on treatment is the same as for someone who remains uninfected.”
“HIV treatment is now so effective that those who are treated and have an undetectable viral load will not pass the virus on to their sexual partners.”
“This knowledge strikes to the heart of much of the stigma that people like me, who are living with the virus, experience.”
“I’m delighted that PHE acknowledge that effective treatment can prevent transmission, even for people who have sex without condoms.”
“It’s vital that people with HIV and our sexual partners know that undetectable means untransmittable.”
To mark the day, many people will wear a HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. You can order a ribbon here.