Jeremy Corbyn: We must educate ‘all children’ about AIDS
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that “all children” need to be educated about the threat of AIDS, in his World AIDS Day message.
Speaking in a video released to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, the left-wing leader spoke about the changes he has seen during his time in Parliament.
The leader, first elected to Parliament in 1983, explained: “When I was first elected thirty years ago, many of the newspapers were full of a lot of scare stories about AIDS.
“Very brave people campaigned to show that AIDS was, and is, a serious condition – but above all, it could be treated.
“On World AIDS Day, we want to increase awareness, increase education – increase education for all children, education for the entire community.”
The leader went on to suggest that HIV/AIDS is “on the retreat” globally – even though figures released by Public Health England last month found transmissions among men who have sex with men have reached a new record high in the UK.
He said: “In other parts of the world where AIDS has become a very serious issue, it has been beaten back. It’s been beaten back by healthcare, by education, and by public health policies and government policies.
“In many places, AIDS is actually on the retreat and not the increase. We want to keep it that way and carry on that work.”
Statistics released by Public Health England last month found an estimated 103,700 people in the UK are now living with HIV, taking the number above 100,000 for the first time. 38,500 of those are men who have sex with men.
In addition, transmissions among gay and bisexual men have reached a new record high – with 3,360 men who have sex with men diagnosed as HIV positive in 2014. An estimated 6,500 HIV-positive gay and bisexual men are unaware they have HIV, risking further rises if they are not diagnosed and treated.
Mr Corbyn continued: “I want to say thank you to those that have educated us about AIDS, those who are undertaking medical research to bring about improvements in the treatment and diagnosis of people suffering from AIDS, enabling them to live much longer, very fulfilling lives that have been a benefit to all of us.
“Well done on World AIDS Day – well done to campaigners. Let’s be together, be positive, and above all, be hopeful.”
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