PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson joined celebrity Nancy Dell’Olio in Parliament to support HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust’s Stand Up, Stand Out campaign for World Aids Day.
The campaign has been set up to raise awareness of the UK’s growing HIV epidemic.
The Health Protection Agency has announced there are now more people living with HIV in the UK than ever before, with the number of those with the condition expected to reach 100,000 next year.
In 2010, there were 8,700 people living with HIV in the North West. THT’s Parliamentary reception, also attended by Public Health Minister Anne Milton, highlighted the need for a renewed focus on HIV prevention to stop the spread of HIV.
Mr Stephenson said: “I am delighted to back this important campaign on World Aids Day. HIV remains an important health issue and affects people in every corner of the UK, including Pendle. I would encourage local people to do their bit to Stand Up, Stand Out and help raise awareness of how we can reduce the spread of HIV.”
Sir Nick Partridge, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We’re very pleased Andrew is helping us to raise awareness of HIV this World Aids Day. Our Stand Up, Stand Out campaign aims to raise greater awareness of HIV. There are more people than ever with HIV in the UK and one in four may be passing on the virus, unaware they even have it. Lets start talking more about safer sex, testing and treatment to keep people well and prevent even more becoming infected.”
World AIDS Day, which has been running every December since 1988, is dedicated to raising awareness of HIV and Aids. In the UK alone, 91,500 people are living with HIV and over 6,500 are diagnosed every year.