Greens councillors and our local MP have voiced their support for World AIDS day events happening today (1st December). Brighton and Hove has the highest prevalence of people with HIV outside of London. Events planned for Brighton & Hove include laying out the world’s largest AIDS awareness red ribbon at the recently-revamped Level park in central Brighton.
Chair of Adult Care & Health Committee Rob Jarrett said: “World AIDS Day gives us the opportunity to show our support for those fighting against HIV, and those who have passed away as a result of the condition.
“Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK, but a quarter of them aren’t aware that they have the virus. However the number of people getting tested in Brighton & Hove is on the up. As a result our late diagnosis levels are at about 30 per cent, much lower than national levels of about 50 per cent.
“It’s crucial that people don’t put off testing for HIV, and that we challenge the prejudice that people with HIV face.“
MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas will be giving the opening speech at the ‘You, Me and HIV’ event – organised by AVERT, the Brighton World AIDS Day Community Partnership, and several international organisations – on Brighton Level from 2pm.
Volunteers will lay out an AIDS awareness ribbon measuring 45 metres – the world’s largest.
“I’m extremely proud to be taking part in World AIDS Day.
“WAD is about remembering those who have died, and supporting those for whom HIV and AIDS, along with the associated stigma, prejudice and financial hardship, remain a daily reality. Brighton and Hove has the highest prevalence of people with HIV outside of London and yet around one in five does not know he or she has the virus. If people are diagnosed and treated in time, they can now live a normal life span, and infectiousness can be reduced by 96%.
“The red ribbon is a reminder that we must continue to make this a priority. So on World Aids Day 2013 I want to particularly pay tribute to all the excellent prevention and early diagnosis work already happening in our city, as well as the continued commitment to further improvements.”
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.