This year is the 29th World Aids Day. Today, I am proud to stand with campaigners and local HIV organisations at the candlelit vigil. I am reminded of those who we have lost to Aids, including dear friends of mine. As in years gone by, we must mourn the dead and fight for the living.
We support the Fast Track Initiative- which has a target of 90% of people living with HIV being aware of their status. However, I question how this will be achievable when there is a proposal to make a 20% cut to HIV and sexual health in Labour’s budget. Brighton and Hove already has the highest HIV prevalence outside of the capital and is often accompanied by ignorance and isolation, with knock on effects to mental health as well as discrimination. We will be asking for analysis of the impact of these cuts- but I fear the rise in HIV transmissions means cuts to the HIV budget will hit all the harder.
Here in Brighton and Hove, we must not turn back the clock on HIV.
Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty
Convenor of the Green Group of Councillors