Lib Dem party leader Tim Farron has recorded a video message for World AIDS Day, December 1st.
“So many of us are wearing the red ribbon at this time of year – 1st December, World AIDS Day. The first World AIDS Day was 1st December 1988. I was eighteen, I was one of the people who took part in that first event. It’s very important for us to acknowledge that in the almost three decades since then, we’ve made huge strides forward in this country in terms of dealing with the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, but also about life expectancy and the whole medical front. Massive, massive strides forwards and all of us should proud of it.
“But we haven’t done enough. There’s still loads more to do to make sure we deal with the stigma, and deal with the needs of people who are living with HIV. One in four people living with HIV in this country do not know they are living with HIV, so today is also about encouraging people to get out there and get themselves tested. But it’s also important we recognise that the massive blight that is HIV/AIDS around the world is in countries far away from here, much poorer than this one. It’s why it’s so important we stand by our international development commitments as a country, making sure we support those countries where AIDS and HIV are a much bigger problem even than they are here.
“So I’d encourage you to go to worldaidsday.org to find out more about the issue for yourself. Spread that link around, talk to your friends, be a champion in your community. And make sure we never, ever forget the blight of HIV/AIDS around the world affecting people in much poorer circumstances than our own.”