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.

As part of the campaign ‘What will you do?’, Ruth, who last month backed calls to encourage people to get tested during HIV Testing Week, pledged to:

  • Support access to quality and inclusive sexual health education for all young people
  • Promote access to HIV testing within my constituency
  • Encourage communities at increased risk of HIV to access testing services.
  • Uphold and strengthen existing human rights for people affected by HIV
  • Champion the involvement of people living with HIV in the services they access.
  • Advocate for a fairer social security system to support people living with HIV

Commenting, Ruth said:

“The rate of new HIV infections in Scotland has remained the same for the last ten years; on average one person every single day is diagnosed. This is despite new infections being entirely preventable.  Supporting access to quality and inclusive health education for all young people is just one way that we can make a huge difference to the future HIV infection rates in Scotland.”

“It’s important to know that when a person is adhering to treatment, the amount of virus in their body can become undetectable meaning that the virus will not be passed on.  Treatment is of course only possible if a person knows their status- access to testing needs to be made easier”