Labour MP reveals he is HIV positive in Commons

Simon Moss
December 2, 2018

Approximately 1.8 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2017 and sadly 940, 000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses in the same year as they might not know they have HIV, aren't on treatment or start treatment too late.

According to WHO, HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives so far.

Rwanda has launched a six-month awareness and prevention campaign aimed at stemming new HIV infections in the country at a ceremony to mark the World AIDS Day. In the male population over 60 years old, HIV/AIDS cases increased by 136% in five years, from 8,391 cases in 2012 to almost 20,000 cases in 2017.

Today, we are at a critical point where new HIV cases are starting to grow outside of key populations.

Darryl O'Donnell, CEO of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations said: "Advances in medicine, technology and health promotion have powered strong progress against HIV".

"There is also the discrimination around how sexual partners might view you and do view you and how employees view you".

The reduction has been attributed to the success in HIV prevention efforts among men with have sex with men, with PHE citing increased condom use, frequent HIV testing, and the use of HIV-prevention drugs (PrEP).

In Ghana, a recent report released by the Ghana AIDS Commission indicate that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS amongst the youth in 2017, particularly those below the age of 24, rose to about 45% across the country. Human rights, including the right to health, must be upheld at all costs to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

He shared that he's now "HIV positive undetectable".

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"In all this, we need the political will; we need the investment from governments, partners and private sectors, and most of all we need the communities to promote demand for HIV testing services".

So it is really important that more and more people have a HIV test, he said.

TCE Field Officers and volunteers build relationships with communities to provide access to HIV testing in hard-to-reach areas and among the at-risk populations.

In the video, Varadkar demonstrated to viewers how quick and easy to receive a Rapid HIV Test which can develop a result in 60 seconds after getting a few drops of blood from a finger prick.

More than 101,000 people are living with HIV in the UK.

Experts say the buyers' clubs appear to be most used in Europe, but can also be found from North America to Australia.

The statements of commitment come as sexual health charity the Terrance Higgins Trust (THT) called for an end to the stigma faced by people living with the virus.

She noted that many young people and adult men were being left behind and others still only get tested after becoming ill.

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