Yesterday (Tuesday 18th July 2017), I and other parliamentary colleagues, met with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS and organisations from across the HIV sector to learn more about their work supporting some 37 million people estimated to be living with HIV across the globe.
Each year, a further 1 million people acquire the virus and those groups that are disproportionately affected continue to be subject to stigma, discrimination or criminalisation in many of the highest prevalence countries.
The APPG on HIV & AIDS is one of the oldest all-party groups in Parliament having been formed in the mid-1980s in response to the emergence of HIV and AIDS in the UK. MPs and peers who have joined the Group have done so because they are concerned about both the devastation that HIV and AIDS are causing in developing countries and about their impact here in the UK including in our constituencies. This year, the Group has focused on the impact of HIV internationally, having received reports from a number of organisations on the negative impact that changing aid priorities has had on key populations and women and girls in middle-income countries.
HIV continues to affect over 100,000 people in the UK. While advances in treatment mean that someone diagnosed early with HIV can expect to live as long as someone who has not acquired the virus, it is estimated that 13% of people living with HIV are undiagnosed in the UK, which means they are unable to take steps to prevent damage to their immune system or prevent onward transmission to others. Members of the APPG are determined to ensure that no one affected by HIV is left behind as part of the UNAIDS commitment to end AIDS by 2030.