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CHARITIES URGE NEXT GOVERNMENT TO DELIVER ON HISTORIC GOAL OF ZERO HIV CASES BY 2030

30 MAY 2024


NAZ joins over 20 HIV and sexual health charities to call on the next Government to make history by seizing the chance to end the HIV epidemic in the UK — and become the first country to do so.

With just five years left to deliver the UK’s commitment to end new HIV cases by 2030, One Parliament Left, a manifesto launched today by Naz, Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust and our partners, sets out the urgent actions Parliament must take to achieve this historic goal.

 

Incredible advances in treatment and prevention mean the goal of ending new HIV cases by 2030 is in reach. People living with HIV on effective treatment can live a long, healthy life and can’t pass HIV on. HIV prevention pill, PrEP, stops HIV-negative people from contracting the virus. And huge leaps forward in HIV testing mean that we can – and must – find every person living with undiagnosed HIV and get them the care they need.

The charities say with bold, targeted, and urgent action these life-changing interventions will end transmissions and make living well a reality for all who live with HIV.

The 2019 to 2024 Parliament has seen considerable progress – the first UK Government HIV Action Plan was published, opt-out HIV testing introduced in 81 A&E departments, PrEP commissioned in sexual health services, and discrimination is being tackled across multiple settings including; the military, pilots, driving, blood donation and fertility rights.

But the charities say there is so much more to be done. The vital progress made so far is threatened by a new sexual health crisis. Rates of STIs and HIV are higher than ever, especially within Black, Brown and Global Majority communities. The demand for services is ever increasing, and access is limited for many. Naz urges that the response to ending the HIV epidemic must include the eradication of structural barriers such as poverty, racism, homophobia and transphobia.

Produced in collaboration with expert charities, doctors’ groups and public health professionals, the manifesto calls for the following six actions to ensure the UK achieves zero HIV transmissions by 2030:

  • An expansion of opt-out HIV testing

  • The introduction of a national one-stop-shop online PrEP, HIV and STI postal testing service

  • The creation of a national re-engagement programme for people living with HIV who are not in care

  • The provision of year-on-year, above-inflation public authority health grant funding

  • The development of a national sexual health strategy

  • Justice for those impacted by the contaminated blood scandal

Parminder Sekhon, Chief Executive of Naz, says:

“It is incredible to think we can be part of a generation to stop all new transmissions of HIV, perhaps even be the first country in the world to achieve this. To achieve goal we need all political parties to sign up to our six manifesto asks.

 

Experience has shown us when we listen to people most affected, people on the frontline, experts in the sector and are intentional about our will, we experience amazing outcomes. Why would any incoming government not want to be part of this success story? People living with and affected by HIV since the 80’s deserve this commitment from politicians”.

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of National AIDS Trust, says:

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to end new HIV infections in the UK by 2030, whilst also making living well with HIV a reality for everyone affected. That's why it's so vital that we don't lose momentum and political commitment now. So we are calling on all political parties to commit to this manifesto, and asking our supporters to join with us in holding the next parliament to account.

“The manifesto’s six clear asks have been produced by experts in the sector, including charities, doctors’ groups, and public health professionals. When adopted, they will ensure that we are on track for the 2030 goal. They can and must be prioritised by the incoming government.”

 

Richard Angell, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, says:

 

“MPs elected in July this year have a simple choice. Be the generation to end the HIV epidemic and stop new HIV cases or not. We are in touching distance but we need to pull our finger out to make it happen.

 

While progress has been made – PrEP free on the NHS, opt-out testing across the highest prevalence parts of the country and the rolling back of stigmatising laws – every day we are missing chances to make this goal a reality. To end new HIV cases, we have to turn this around.

 

“If our leaders are serious about ending this epidemic, this is the last parliamentary term to do it. Get it right and we could be the first country in the world to end new HIV cases. What a legacy that would be.”

Read the full manifesto 'One Parliament Left'.

 

Ends

 

For more details or comment please contact Christina Ganotakis at Naz on christina@naz.org.uk 07311311391, Jude Clarke at National AIDS Trust on jude.clarke@nat.org.uk 020 7814 6733 or marianne.holt@tht.org.uk at Terrence Higgins Trust on 07957 812 691.

 

Notes to editors

 

About NAZ:

 

NAZ is a sexual health charity working to address sexual health inequalities in Black, Brown and Global Majority communities.

 

We have 29 years of experience working across London to provide culturally specific interventions to communities disproportionately impacted by poor sexual, reproductive and HIV outcomes.

 

About National AIDS Trust:

 

National AIDS Trust is the UK’s HIV rights charity. We work to stop HIV from standing in the way of health, dignity and equality, and to end new HIV transmissions. Our expertise, research and advocacy secure lasting change to the lives of people living with and at risk of HIV.

 

About Terrence Higgins Trust:

Terrence Higgins Trust is the UK’s leading HIV charity, offering support, information and advice services for those living with HIV and affected by HIV.

 

The charity strives for a future where there are no new cases of HIV, where people living with HIV get the support they need and there is good sexual health for all.

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