MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has attended an event at Parliament for World AIDS Day (December 1) to back efforts to increase HIV testing. The event was organised by HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT).
Currently, one in four people with HIV in the UK do not know they have it. This is bad for their health and the health of others as they are not getting vital treatment and are statistically more likely to pass on the virus. In Haringey, 27% of people with HIV are diagnosed ‘very late’, well after they should have started treatment. THT and other organisations are promoting the ‘Halve It’ campaign, which wants to see rates of undiagnosed and late diagnosed HIV halved within the next five years.
Ms Featherstone said: “I am delighted to support this vitally important issue. We all need to work together to increase HIV testing because it is in everyone’s interests. I hope that this World AIDS Day more people who may have been at risk of HIV will decide to get tested. People used to think an HIV diagnosis was like a death sentence, but HIV treatment has moved on so much in the last few years. An HIV diagnosis today is something that could save your life, because as long as you get the treatment in time, you can expect to live well into old age.”
Sir Nick Partridge, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We’re very pleased Lynne Featherstone is helping us to raise awareness of HIV testing this World AIDS Day. People with undiagnosed HIV are not only putting their own health seriously at risk, they are also more likely to pass the virus on. Testing too late costs lives and money.”
World AIDS Day, which has been running every December since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of HIV and AIDS. In the UK alone, 86,500 people are living with HIV and over 6,500 are diagnosed every year.