World AIDS Day - A statement from Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, Cllr Nneka Keazor
World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS related illness.
Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. The red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. Wearing a ribbon is a great way to raise awareness on and during the run up to World AIDS Day.
Over 105,200 people are living with HIV in the UK and despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition, however people are continuing to be diagnosed as some do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.
There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education and getting tested is the only way to find out if you have HIV. If you are living with HIV, starting treatment early means you can live a full, healthy and productive life. Free and confidential HIV tests are available from NHS sexual health clinics (also called GUM clinics), charity testing services, many GP surgeries, pharmacies or online for self testing at home. Free self sampling HIV test kits are available to people from certain areas in England https://freetesting.hiv/.
For services local to Enfield visit: https://www.echoclinics.nhs.uk/lgbt/.
If you are worried, know someone who may be, or would like to know more about the AIDs virus, support is available at the links above.
HIV does not make people dangerous to be around.
Help banish the stigma of AIDs and show your support by wearing a red ribbon.
To find out more https://www.worldaidsday.org/