Ed Miliband - Leader of the Labour Party - 2014 Video message
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg 2014 Message:
Today, I’m wearing my red ribbon with pride for World AIDS Day. In the last 30 years, since the first cases of HIV were discovered, we’ve travelled a huge distance in terms of research and treatment. Not least because advances in medication now mean that, if diagnosed and treated early enough, people living with HIV can live just as long as people without it.
In the UK we’re committed to tackling the global impacts of this disease – the ambition has to be a future with zero new infections and AIDS-related deaths. That’s why last year we invested £1 billion in the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. This money is helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world get lifesaving treatment.
But, of course, there is still a long way to go. And while the science has moved on, too many people’s attitudes have not. One in 3 people living with HIV say that they have experienced discrimination, because of their condition. That’s simply unacceptable. So, this World AIDS Day, please visit HIVaware.org.uk to get the facts about HIV and tell the people you know.
It’s critical that people have the right information, and that the next generation – through good sex education – understand the facts. Together, by wearing your red ribbon and tweeting your support using the hashtag #PutARibbonOnIt we can help break down the stigma that still surrounds this condition and show that there’s just no place for this kind of discrimination in modern Britain. So please get involved.
Today, let’s all do our bit.
David Cameron - Prime Minister and Conservative Party Leader - 2014 message:
At Prime Minister’s Questions on the 26th November I looked around the chamber of the House of Commons and was struck by the number of MPs who, like me, were wearing a red ribbon. The ribbon is the universal symbol of HIV awareness and it was good to see so many MPs showing solidarity with people who live with HIV in the UK and around the world.
British charities, scientists, social services, doctors and nurses have often led the way in dealing with HIV. From bringing it to public attention initially, fighting passionately for respect and treatment, through to current campaigns aimed at increasing testing. These are people are to be applauded for their commitment, innovation and passion.
The UK has a proud track record of leading the fight internationally; last year we supported 1.9 million people with treatment for AIDS and 32,000 children benefited from child-friendly HIV/AIDS medicines. I am proud that as a nation we are keeping our commitments to the poorest in the world.
At home, great strides have been made. We have seen an increase in the level of testing; in 2013 over a million tests took place in sexual health clinics, up 5 per cent on the year before, and under this government we have removed the ban on the sale of HIV self-testing kits this year which has increased the choice on how to get tested.
But we must be alert to the problems that remain. Whilst the overall number of new diagnoses last year was down slightly on 2010, there was an increase amongst men who have sex with men. And a quarter of people living with HIV don’t know they have it.
I am absolutely clear that there can be no complacency in our fight against HIV and AIDS. Although people living with HIV can expect to live a long and healthy life if diagnosed early, their quality of life is too often still eroded.
Government has its part to play here and so I’ve asked the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to host a meeting in Downing Street that will bring together leading experts to look at what is working and what more should be done.
This World AIDS Day the red ribbon is about more than showing solidarity with those living with HIV in the UK and abroad; it should also be a spur to increase testing and a symbol of our commitment to carrying on work to reduce infection levels whilst tackling the stigma, discrimination and prejudice often associated with HIV and sexual health.
Gok Wan tells us why its important to #RibbonUp this World AIDS Day