Last week, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham joined with other members in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for HIV & AIDS to meet with organisations that are supporting around 37 million people living with the virus.
Further discussions were had about the continued devastation the virus is having on developing countries, and the effects of stigmatisation on those who have contracted it at home and abroad.
More specifically, the change in humanitarian aid priorities has shifted in recent years — with focuses aligning on other issues, such as the ongoing Syrian Civil War, tackling the effects of ISIS, and the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa — creating a negative impact the virus has had on women and girls in middle-income countries.
Commenting on the hurdles we face and the positive energy of the organisations Alex met, he said:
“I want to give huge amounts of praise to the various organisations that I met with last week that continue to fight tirelessly against the terrible effects of HIV and AIDs in the UK and internationally.
“As various points across the global move through periods of instability, we must not lose sight of the importance of continued support to developing countries that still struggle in tackling with HIV and AIDS.
“I really look forward to working more with these organisations to move towards an AIDS-free world.”
Advances in treatment has meant that those living with HIV can now live as long as those who have not yet acquired the virus.
It’s estimated that 13% of those with HIV in the UK are still undiagnosed, which means we must find new ways to increase diagnoses and treatment to reach the UNAIDS’ aim to end AIDS by 2030.
For further information, please contact Alex’s office on 020 7219 7157