World AIDS Day is on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the campaign to stop HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died.
Although 4,453 people in the UK were diagnosed with HIV last year, the good news is that new diagnoses have fallen for a third consecutive year. However, the latest data from Public Health England reports 43% of all diagnoses were late and warns that people diagnosed late face a ten-fold increased risk of short-term mortality.
People diagnosed promptly and who are on effective HIV treatment (ART) which they adhere to = an Undetectable viral load which = Untransmittable i.e. stops the transmission of HIV. For at least 20 years we have known that ART reduces HIV transmission. But for the last two years, leading scientists have agreed that the risk is not just reduced but stopped completely. So, prompt testing makes sense! Knowing your HIV status means that you can either take charge of keeping HIV free or of managing your HIV through effective medication.
Being on, and keeping on, effective medication means a normal life with undetectable HIV and no risk of passing on your HIV. Although the treatments for HIV are now very successful and physically people can live a healthy life, the stigma and discrimination still exists and for some people this means they suffer mental ill health. According to the National AIDS Trust surveys, 1 in 5 people living with HIV say that they have needed help with loneliness and three-quarters say they haven’t been able to find that help.
We want that to change! We want everyone who is diagnosed with HIV to know help and support to overcome the loneliness and isolation they might experience following their diagnosis or at any point in their life, IS available. We’ve been supporting people living with HIV for over over 33 years so we understand how difficult it can be for some people to manage their diagnosis and how just having someone to talk to can really help. We offer all types of help and support for people living with HIV, including emotional support and counselling, and we can arrange for you to meet and chat with someone else living with HIV so that you can find out what has helped them to manage their situation.
To find out more click on the links below or call us and speak to one of our friendly team on 01223 508805. All contact with us is free and confidential.