Ilford South MP Mike Gapes backs #ItsNotOver campaign for World AIDS Day
PUBLISHED: 10:41 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:41 02 December 2016
An MP has spoken out to warn residents against “stigma and complacency” surrounding HIV.
Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, attended the Terrence Higgins Trust’s reception in the House of Lords, which brought together politicians, campaigners, medics and those affected by the virus.
The room was packed with people committed to making a life-changing difference to those living with HIV by influencing government policy, clinical practice and public awareness.
Everyone wore a red ribbon with pride, reflecting on “how far we’ve come but how far we still have to go” in the fight against HIV.
MP Mike Gapes said: “World AIDS Day continues to be incredibly important as a day of action, awareness and remembrance, so I’m delighted to offer my support to Terrence Higgins Trust’s #ItsNotOver campaign and hope that others will also lend their support.
“We must not let complacency or stigma undo decades of medical progress in the fight against HIV.
“There are more people than ever living with HIV in this country, and there’s a long way to go before we finally beat the stigma that surrounds the virus.”
Ian Green, chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said that while incredible progress has been made in terms of treating HIV, the battle is not yet won.
“Vital HIV services are being cut, stigma is still deeply embedded, and we are now facing the first generation of people to grow old with HIV – we can’t stop now,” he said.
“Our event in parliament was an opportunity to talk to policy makers about all of these challenges ahead, as well as the importance of sustained government investment in HIV prevention and support services.”
Find out more about Terrence Higgins Trust’s current campaigns at tht.org.uk/campaigns