RUTHERGLEN MSP COMMITS TO ENDING HIV-RELATED STIGMA IN SCOTLAND

For immediate release:

RUTHERGLEN MSP COMMITS TO ENDING HIV-RELATED STIGMA IN SCOTLAND

Clare Haughey MSP joined with HIV Scotland to mark World AIDS Day in the Scottish Parliament this week, and to celebrate the launch of the new book, ‘Disclosures: Rewriting the Narrative About HIV’.

The book collects together poetry, stories, artwork, and non-fiction which challenge the image of what it means to have HIV in Scotland today. The foreword of the book is written by Scot’s Makar, Jackie Kay.

A person living with HIV, successfully on treatment, can achieve an undetectable level of HIV virus. This means not only they will be healthier, but will not pass the virus onto others.

Furthermore, the drug PrEP is a prevention measure where people who do not have the illness use medication to protect themselves from getting HIV. Scotland led the way by allowing PrEP on the NHS, expanding their prevention options and contributing to the global mission against HIV.

There are 5213 people diagnosed as living with HIV in Scotland, 368 of which were reported last year.

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey was one of a number of MSPs who met at Parliament for World AIDS Day and mark the stigma-busting book’s publication.

Commenting, the SNP MSP said:

“Stigma is still a huge issue for people living with HIV in Scotland. It is one of the biggest barriers to testing, can stop people from accessing treatment and support. Often people fear telling family, friends and partners their status which can lead to isolation and mental health problems.

“By working together and taking a strong position on addressing stigma, inequality and social exclusion, we can make a real difference to the lives of people living with HIV. This book is a new tool to educate and inform people about the modern-day realities of HIV, and I’m proud to support HIV Scotland’s work.”

Nathan Sparling, Interim Chief Executive of HIV Scotland added:

“Scotland has all the right tools to reach zero new HIV infections. It’s fantastic to see MSPs supporting the launch of our new stigma-busting book that brings together people living with and affected by HIV to take part in creative activism to change the narrative of HIV in Scotland.”

Every year on the 1st December people across the globe mark World AIDS Day: the international day to remember the 35 million people who have died worldwide from AIDS related illnesses, to prevent new cases of HIV and to stand in solidarity with people living with the virus.

ENDS

Notes:

Below is a photograph of Clare Haughey MSP with HIV Scotland representatives and MSP colleagues.

World Aids Day

 

Date published: 29th November 2018

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