Councillor Alan Hall proposed a motion for World AIDS Day on the 1st December 2017. The motion welcomes the improvements in drug therapies and greater testing in London. The Council pledges to improve prevention services and treatment and care in the London borough where HIV prevalence is high.
Lewisham facts and figures include:
- A high rate of HIV infection compared to the London and England average
- A rate of HIV (8.2 in 1,000 residents) is the 8th highest in London
- Areas in the borough have some of the highest HIV rates in the UK
- It is estimated that one in five people in London with HIV do not know it
- 1,730 people in the borough were living with HIV in 2014
- The key risk groups for HIV are African people and men who have sex with men (MSM), however, HIV occurs in all populations
- 46% of people in the borough diagnosed with HIV are diagnosed late and may be already unwell
In his speech, Councillor Alan Hall said:
“Public Health England published new data showing a steep decline in HIV diagnoses in gay men, down 21% in 2016, compared to 2015. This should be celebrated. But what the headlines didn’t focus on there are 31,600 women living with HIV in the UK, 31% of the total. Accessing the right support can be critical to living well with HIV.
Often, when people think about HIV, they don’t think about women. Women’s experiences, priorities, and needs around HIV prevention, care or support may be very different to those of men.”
He went on to say:
“The Nation AIDS Trust has launched a now let’s end it campaign. In this motion we support an:
• End the growth of the epidemic: we have the tools we need, now we
must ensure the political will and investment to stop HIV in its tracks.
• End ignorance about HIV: we know how and what to teach people, now
we need to ensure that every child in every school learns what they need to
• End stigma and discrimination: the laws are in place but now we must
implement them and ensure we all have access to justice.
• End the link between HIV and poverty: we know having HIV means you
are more likely to live in poverty, now we must tackle the causes of poverty.
• End seeing the virus not the person: we need to ensure that support is
provided for all people with HIV to live full and happy lives.
• End the disproportionate impact of HIV on some communities: no one
should be at increased risk of HIV because of where they are from or who
they have sex with.
Lewisham Council unanimously agreed the motion the full text as amended is here
A report in the South London Press 5th December 2017