Letter: Aids vaccine hope

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The slogan for this year's World Aids Day is "Force for change, World Aids campaign with young people".

Slogans are well and good but we need action. The number of people between 16 and 24 being diagnosed HIV positive is growing. Without an equal age of consent, an end to Section 28, and decent sex education in schools, this is unlikely to change.

Section 28 of the Local Government Act, forbidding the "promotion of homosexuality" by councils, continues to frighten schools from offering sex education for young lesbians and gay men.

A responsible society should be only too eager to take the opportunity to educate young people and prevent unnecessary suffering.

Meanwhile people with HIV continue to experience direct discrimination. As people live longer due to combination therapies, they need help with employment. For young people this might mean specialist training as they have no previous employment record.

Opposition in the Lords lost the Equal Age of Consent legislation (the Government didn't send that back fives times).

And opposition in the Lords is being used as the excuse to delay removing Section 28.

JOHN NICHOLSON

George House Trust

Manchester

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