Labour leader Ed Miliband urges people to talk about HIV

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Labour leader Ed Miliband has released a message for World AIDS Day urging people to talk about the disease.

Mr Miliband’s message did not mention gay men explicitly but said that everyone should talk about HIV/AIDS and “raise awareness” of it.

In the message, he said: “We have to do more to tackle this awful illness – we have to all make an effort to ACT AWARE. Today, I am pledging my support for the ACT AWARE campaign. I will use this opportunity to help improve understanding and raise awareness of the challenges we face in tackling HIV and AIDS.

“I hope you will join me by speaking to your friends, neighbours and colleagues about those challenges. Together, we can make real progress.”

ACT AWARE is one of a number of “pledges” being championed by HIV charities to encourage people to “make commitments” to improving understanding of HIV, tackle infections rates and reduce stigma.

Last week, prime minister David Cameron urged gay men to get tested for HIV and use condoms.

Writing for Boyz magazine, he thanked the gay community for its work on HIV but said the fight was “still far from won”.

“You need to support each other in avoiding the virus. You still need to practice safe sex. You need to test and to know your HIV status,” he said. ” And as a society we need to continue to fight prejudice and stigma, especially as they can be a barrier to testing and treatment.”