World AIDS day 2014

01 December 2014

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to reflect on the bravery and compassion of those who have contributed to the struggle against HIV and the continued importance of working together to achieve our goal. The current Ebola outbreak is a reminder of the early days of HIV when we had no treatments to offer and little understanding about transmission.

Since HIV appeared in the 80s patients, activists,families, friends, health workers and researchers have worked tirelessly to overcome the stigma and fear of HIV / AIDS and to develop treatments. We don’t yet have a preventative vaccine but we have seen breakthroughs with antiretroviral drugs.

Comprehensive HIV treatment and prevention services do now exist, but we must not become complacent. These services are not universally accessible and many people still do not have access to adequate information about HIV / AIDS. Worldwide 35 million people are living with HIV and another 2 million are expected to be infected over the coming year. In the UK there are nearly 110,000 people living with HIV, 26,000 of whom have not yet been diagnosed.  According to the National AIDS Trust today, less than half of the UK population understands how HIV is transmitted.

'Lets mark this World AIDS Day by celebrating the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV, giving thought to those affected by the pandemic, and calling for worldwide prevention and treatment services for all' said ASLEF's general secretary, Mick Whelan.

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