World AIDS Day is a hugely important moment—both here in Britain andaround the globe.
It’s a moment to reflect on the progress made, but it’s also areminder of how much morewe still have to do.
In recent years, there have been huge advances in treating HIV. Andthat means that ifdiagnosed early enough and treated properly, someone withHIV can live as long as someonewithout it.
But too often stigma and myth prevent that from happening. People aretoo afraid to gofor tests and it isn’t caught early enough. It’s estimatedthat 20 per cent of the people in Britainliving with HIV, don’t know that theyhave the condition.
We’ve got to bring that number down and get people the treatmentthey need. We’ve got tokeep on putting every effort possible into educationand awareness and what’s more we’ve gotto fight discrimination against HIVeverywhere we see it.
Today’s also a moment to remember our lasting commitment to thedeveloping world. TheUK’s already dedicated a billion pounds to the GlobalFund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria and inthe years ahead we’ve got to showevery bit as much commitment abroad as we do at home.
This is what World AIDS Day is all about -- renewing ourdetermination and saving lives.
On this important day let us all pledge to fight HIV and AIDS witheverything we’ve gotand make sure that we in this generation weren’t foundwanting.
Thank you for listening.