Andrew Gwynne pledged his support in Parliament recently for Halve It, a national coalition campaign that aims to halve late diagnosis and undiagnosed HIV in the UK by 2015. At the Halve It World AIDS Day parliamentary drop-in session, Andrew met with key members of the campaign’s steering group, including leading HIV clinicians, and CEOs of patient and policy organisations. He discussed with them Halve It’s aims and achievements to date, and the campaign’s compelling case for HIV to remain a public health priority in the UK. The event, which marked the 25th World AIDS Day, was attended by key parliamentarians from all parties.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“It’s clear that HIV should remain a public health priority in the UK and we should do all we can to improve HIV testing and diagnosis.”
Halve It is a coalition of advocates and experts that works with all levels of government and the NHS to reduce the proportion of people undiagnosed and diagnosed late with HIV, through public policy reform and implementation of good practice. The Halve It campaign focuses on the expansion of HIV testing services, on the basis that early testing of HIV saves lives and also results in substantial savings to the public health budget. Since its inception in 2010, the campaign has galvanised national and local cross-party support for HIV testing, and this year received the endorsement of the leaders of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties.
According to Public Health England data released last week, an estimated 98,400 people were living with HIV in the UK in 2012. The overall prevalence was 1.5 per 1,000 population, and an estimated 21,900 people living with HIV in 2012 were unaware of their infection.