World AIDS Day 2023

1 Dec 2023

Turning the Tide: Hope for Ending HIV in the UK by 2030

There is renewed hope that the UK can eradicate new HIV transmissions by 2030, thanks to increased testing and prevention efforts in recent years. New statistics from the UK Health Security Agency show encouraging declines in key indicators. From 2019 to 2021, new HIV transmissions in England fell by almost a third. The number of people living with undiagnosed HIV also dropped, from 5,600 to 4,400.

This data suggests the UK’s HIV Action Plan launched in 2019 is having a positive impact. By expanding testing access, reducing stigma, and linking people to treatment faster, transmissions are decreasing.

While the COVID-19 pandemic threatened progress, England is now back on track to hit its targets. Health organisations emphasise the importance of regular testing, regardless of sexual orientation, to diagnose cases early and get treatment to prevent further spread.

Continued progress will require going the extra mile to reach those most disproportionately affected, including gay and bisexual men, ethnic minorities, and disadvantaged communities. But with ongoing commitment from government, health providers and community partners, England’s aim of zero HIV transmissions by the end of this decade seems within reach. The tide is turning against HIV/AIDS after decades of effort. Cautious optimism is warranted, while still acknowledging the work left to be done. By learning from the progress made and collaborating to address remaining barriers, England could become a model for ending HIV worldwide.

Achieving this goal remains possible, but it will require intense focus, investment, and innovation. We all have a role to play through education, fighting stigma, and getting tested. Know your status. Talk to your doctor about prevention if you are at risk. Support organisations striving to improve outcomes for those affected by HIV. The tools exist, but political will and public mobilisation are vital to finish the fight.

This World AIDS Day, show your support by wearing a red ribbon. The red ribbon was created in 1991 as a symbol of awareness and compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS. The artists who designed it chose red for its boldness, and for its symbolic associations with passion, the heart and love. Wear it proudly to demonstrate that you stand in solidarity with the millions still infected worldwide. The red colour signifies passion, love and the shared humanity that connects us all. Wear your ribbon to remind the world that the fight against HIV/AIDS is not over, not until new transmissions are ended once and for all.

If you would like further information or support related to HIV/AIDS, please contact: Terrence Higgins Trust and /or the National Aids Trust.

Pride in London