Complacency on HIV prevention

sadiqkhanLondon Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan has warned against complacency on HIV – after statistics showed that a disproportionate amount of Londoners are living with HIV.

The Labour MP for Tooting obtained stats from health minister Jane Ellison, after submitting a Parliamentary question on the issue.  The data shows that the proportion of people living with HIV in London is now three times the average across England, in line with stats from Public Health England.

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27777 Londoners were living with HIV in 2010, but the number has risen to 32537 by 2014. This accounts for 0.61% of the population – compared to 0.21% across England on average.

In 2014, London accounted for 45 per cent of all people diagnosed as HIV+ in England – with a breakdown showing 30 out of 32 London boroughs have above-average rates of HIV.

In a statement to PinkNews, Mr Khan said: “These statistics show a huge rise in the prevalence of HIV+ in London – and behind each of these statistics is a story of human suffering and sadness.  While treatment for HIV sufferers has improved rapidly over my lifetime, we can’t afford to be complacent about HIV prevention.”

“We need a renewed focus on the prevention of HIV to match the huge progress made in the 1980s and 1990s.  As Mayor, I’ll make HIV prevention a top priority within public health.”

does this affect Leicestershire & Rutland?

At a time when pressure is on to reduce funding to front-line services, HIV prevention is an easy target.  Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and Rutland Council are currently reviewing their HIV prevention budget and are consulting with the public.  Let’s hope some lessons can be learned by Sadiq Khan’s stance on the pandemic.

What do you think about the cuts to HIV prevention? Let us know in the comments.

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