30 November 2017
Greens will join the community in marking World AIDS Day, raising concern about cuts budget to local sexual health services
Green Councillors will join local HIV organisations this Friday to mark World AIDS Day, a worldwide event to commemorate those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to support continued efforts to bring down rates of HIV. 
However Greens have raised the alarm that vital progress on the prevention of HIV could be set back by proposed £600k cuts to sexual health services outlined in the Labour administration’s budget.  Brighton and Hove has some of the highest HIV rates (prevalence rates) in the UK outside of London. A recent study from the University of Brighton also found that prevalence was also high compared to other cities in Europe.
Green Councillor Alex Phillips commented:
“This World AIDS Day reminds us all of how far we have come in eliminating new HIV infections but how much more needs to be done to maintain this progress. Making a £600k cut to Brighton and Hove’s sexual health budget is nothing short of inadmissible in a city that is trying to tackle one of the highest prevalences of HIV in Europe. We must not forget that alongside HIV often comes stigma and discrimination. Reducing the availability of sexual health services such as HIV testing will undo years of work to encourage people to test and know their status. When so much progress has been made, we clearly need to protect the HIV and sexual health budget – not cut it.”
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty added:
“Once again I will be proud to stand with campaigners and local HIV organisations such as the Beacon and Lunch Positive who do so much to end HIV stigma. Along with the work of the public health team, their work is essential in reducing transmission and increasing prevention in our city. Every World AIDS Day I am reminded of those who we have lost but also how far we have come. But while the theme of this World AIDS Day is ‘health for all,’ this Labour Council are proposing another cut to the city’s sexual health services, which will adversely hit the LGBT and BAME communities who have the highest prevalence rate.
“Given our status as the first UK ‘United Nations Fast Track City’ committed to eliminating HIV by 2030, which Labour signed up to, it seems appalling to think there are plans to cut these services.”