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Today is World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day, the day set aside every year for people to join together in the fight against HIV, show their support to those living with HIV and remember all the people who have died from the virus.

Today there are over 105,000 people in the UK living with HIV with an estimated 38 million people worldwide who have the virus.  Despite the scientific advancements, a wider understanding of the condition and the laws in place to protect people living with HIV, each year over 4,139 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK.

Research carried out by the National AIDS Trust found that “63% of the public do not remember seeing or hearing about HIV in the past six months.” With the survey also showing that “Only a third said they have sympathy for people living with HIV regardless of how they acquired it.”

The survey further found that “1 in 5 think people think you can acquire HIV through kissing” and that “only 16% knew if someone is on effective treatment, they can’t pass HIV on and can expect to live a long and healthy life.”

Where Can Someone Find Help?

Terrance Higgins Trust

The Terrance Higgins Trust was set up in 1982 following the death of Terrance Higgins, one of the first people in the UK to die from an AIDS-related illness. The trust grew over the following years and by 1984 was a limited company, with a board of directors and held charitable status.

The Terrance Higgins Trust was the first charity in the UK to be set up in response to the HIV epidemic and have been at the forefront of the fight against HIV and AIDS ever since.

Today the trust provide a range of service nationwide, with their current strategy including the targets of:  

  • Working to end new transmissions of HIV in the UK by 2030
  • Supporting people to live well with HIV
  • Challenging the stigma associated with HIV and poor sexual health
  • Delivering high quality services.

They do this by supporting people living with HIV and ensuring their voices are heard, by providing testing services for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and helping people using their services to achieve good sexual health.

In Scotland the Trust has two centres, one in Dundee and one in Glasgow, with services offered in other parts of the country.

You can find more information about the support and services offered by the Terrance Higgins Trust at https://www.tht.org.uk/

Men Only Tayside

Men Only Tayside (MOT) is an innovative sexual health partnership between NHS Tayside and Terrance Higgins Trust Scotland.

MOT provides free and confidential sexual health services for gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men. Their services are welcoming, inclusive, responsive to local need and open to trans men and trans women.

They work throughout the communities of Tayside to provide sexual health information, advice and training.

More information about the services and support run by Men Only Tayside can be found at https://menonlytayside.com/

NHS Sexual Health Services

You can find a full list of all services on offer from NHS Tayside at https://www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-and-rights/nhs-services/sexual-health/sexual-health-services-online-appointments-booking-system

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