NHS board to mark World Aids Day with candlelit walk

NHS Tayside Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Managed Care Network is hosting the celebration in Dundee.

Mark Davey
Tuesday 30 November 2021 20:48
(Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership/PA)
(Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership/PA)

One Scottish NHS board will mark World Aids Day with a candlelit walk.

NHS Tayside Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Managed Care Network is hosting the walk through Dundee city centre.

The walk on Wednesday evening aims to raise awareness of how much HIV care has been revolutionised over the past 40 years, giving hope to people who are diagnosed with HIV.

It also aims to show solidarity with the community of people living with HIV and challenge the stigma which remains today.

The treatments available today are so effective that someone on treatment with an undetectable HIV viral load cannot pass on the virus and people taking these medicines can anticipate a normal life expectancy

Dr Sarah Allstaff

NHS Tayside is joining the major HIV charities in Scotland – Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, HIV Scotland and Waverley Care – to look at how far the nation has come and how far it still has to go, in “Getting to Zero”.

Dr Sarah Allstaff, the NHS Tayside clinical lead for HIV, said: “As we mark this year’s World Aids Day, we will continue to remember those who are no longer with us, those who paved the way to where we stand today and celebrate the achievements in HIV medicine and the hope it gives.

“Whilst there is still no cure for HIV, the treatments available today are so effective that someone on treatment with an undetectable HIV viral load cannot pass on the virus and people taking these medicines can anticipate a normal life expectancy.

“That is something that was unimaginable 40 years ago when this virus was first described.

“It is better for your health to begin HIV treatment sooner, rather than later. This is why regular testing is so important.”

Access to testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and free postal testing kits and bookable appointments are available.

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