At the end of 2010 an estimated 91,500 people were living with HIV in the UK, 22,500 (24%) of these were unaware of their HIV status, and the HIV infection rate is still rising - in fact sexual transmission has doubled from 1,950 in 2001 to 3,640 in 2010.
A National awareness campaign across multple mediums is required urgently to:
1. Reduce new HIV infections through education about the risks, and how you can protect yourself and your partner(s).
2. Encourage people to go and get tested, the earlier someone is diagnosed the better the prognosis. The longer they'll live and the higher the quality of life.
3. To save the NHS money. The most common HIV therapy (ATRIPLA) costs the NHS £626 per patient per month, that's £7,512 a year and £375,600 over 50 years. Even if the campaign stopped 1,000 people geting infected that's a saving of £7,500,000 a year on medication alone - before any associated costs.
4. To reduce stigma for those already living with HIV. Campaigns based on fear in the 1980s, though necessary at the time, followed by a near 30 year silence have left a legacy of ignorance. Ignorance leads to fear. Fear leads to stigmatisation. This must be tackled.
Please take the time to sign this campaign - and together we can and will affect change - saving lives and improving others. Thank you.