In a statement to appear on the National Aids Trust (NAT) website for World AIDS Day, 1 December, Leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas talks of her ambition to halve the undetected HIV diagnoses in Brighton Pavilion by 2015:
“The figures from the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) that up to 1 in six gay men in Brighton have HIV must surely be a rallying cry for some political leadership on HIV.
“For too long now government after government have failed to devise a long-term strategy which will effectively prevent the spread of HIV.
“Greens think we deserve a better way forward: one which puts the health and wellbeing of those with HIV first and tackle the prevalence of HIV head on.
“I am declaring my ambition to work closely alongside all of the relevant agencies and organisations in Brighton Pavilion to halve the undetected HIV diagnoses in Brighton by 2015.”
Supporting Caroline’s commitment to the ‘Halve it’ initiative: Phelim Mac Cafferty National Chair of the LGBT Greens said, “The Green Party continues to be very worried about how the proposed callous cuts by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government will hit those with HIV.
“Cuts in council spending by over a quarter over 4 years will see an ending of local authority ring-fenced grants and inevitably the erosion of funding for the provision of HIV services.
“The cuts have been reinforced by the Treasury cutting of funding to the community and voluntary sectors which were done without equality impact assessments.
” These are cuts which are completely unjustified and completely unjustifiable’ not least because of the undue affect they will have on Brighton and Hove ‘s LGBT population.
“All of this despite research from THT and NAT that shows that 1 in 6 people living with HIV has suffered economic hardship in the past 3 years’ a fact affirmed by the reopening of THT’s National Hardship Fund.
“This comes at a time when London-based Gay Men Fighting AIDS has initiated a 5 point pledge to protect the health of men who have sex with men as access to treatment in the climate of budget cuts may become more difficult.
“The Green Party will campaign as strongly as we can against any reduction in the AIDS/HIV budget. We oppose outright the slashing of HIV services.
“We believe the special nature of certain areas of London and Brighton and Hove mean that while government must finally show some leadership on defeating growth in HIV’ the political administration of local authorities must sit down and target health promotion work to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
“The Green Party believe that the strongest way that we can remember the 19’500 people diagnosed with HIV who have died is to fight for better funding for research’ care’ prevention and education.”
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.