Comment: HIV awareness should be as real as it was in 1980s, Ed Miliband says

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

As we mark World AIDs day, I want to add my support to everyone involved in raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.

The message for World AIDS Day is simple: that we must do more to tackle the stigma and prejudice around HIV and AIDS. Despite the progress we have made in tacking HIV, the facts show that we cannot be complacent.

In the UK today, nearly 100,000 people are living with HIV; half of them are diagnosed late, and a quarter do not even know they have the disease.

The incidence of new HIV diagnoses among young people is on the increase.

Over the last decade, HIV rates have risen by 70% among 15-24 year olds, and more than doubled among young gay men.

We need to ensure that education and awareness of HIV and AIDS is just as real for today’s generation as it was in the 1980s.

That is why World AIDS Day is so important: to raise awareness and detect the disease and to tackle the stigma and discrimination still faced by too many people.

We also need government to ensure that the right policies are in place to support people with HIV and to tackle the disease.

The Labour Party will continue to work alongside the National AIDS Trust and others to raise these issues in Parliament.

I hope you will join me in using this opportunity to help improve understanding and raise awareness of the challenges we face in tackling HIV and AIDS.