NAT (National AIDS Trust) is launching the Let’s End It campaign today at an event in the House of Lords that marks the 30th year of the charity working at the forefront of the UK’s response to HIV. Let’s End It sets a goal to end the growth of the HIV epidemic and the continued stigma surrounding HIV before another 30 years pass by.
NAT made headlines in 2016 after successfully challenging NHS England in court after plans to provide the HIV prevention drug PrEP on the NHS were abandoned. Over the years the actions of the charity, which works on HIV-related policy and campaigns for change, have safeguarded people with HIV against employment discrimination, ended the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, and ensured free HIV treatment for all in the UK regardless of immigration status.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT, said: “30 years after NAT was founded, it is important to look forward as well as at our past. We share in the excitement over falling rates of HIV diagnosis in certain locations and certain demographics – we now have the opportunity to turn the tide with HIV. Our organisation exists to make sure we take these opportunities, but critical challenges remain and our job is far from done.
“Even if we ended HIV transmissions overnight, there are still over 100,000 people living with the condition, many of whom need support. We know that stigma and discrimination still reduces opportunities for people living with HIV to live full lives. Having HIV means you’re more likely to live in poverty and more likely to suffer from poor mental health. A renewed effort is needed if we are going to end the harmful impact of HIV in the coming 30 years.
“I hope decision makers and the general public will get behind the Let’s End It campaign, which is both a rallying cry and a message of optimism.
For 30 years, our supporters have helped us fight HIV. Now, let’s end it.”