Haughey marks World AIDS Day at Holy­rood

MSP cel­e­brates the launch of new book about HIV

Rutherglen Reformer - - Clare Haughey - Niki Ten­nant

Ruther­glen MSP Clare Haughey joined with HIV Scot­land to mark World AIDS Day in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and to cel­e­brate the launch of the new book, ‘Dis­clo­sures: Rewrit­ing the Nar­ra­tive About HIV’.

The book col­lects po­etry, sto­ries, art­work, and non-fic­tion which chal­lenge the im­age of what it means to have HIV in Scot­land to­day. The fore­word of the book is writ­ten by Scot’s Makar, Jackie Kay.

A per­son liv­ing with HIV, suc­cess­fully on treat­ment, can achieve an un­de­tectable level of HIV virus. This means not only they will be health­ier, but will not pass the virus onto oth­ers.

Fur­ther­more, the drug PrEP is a preven­tion mea­sure where peo­ple who do not have the ill­ness use med­i­ca­tion to pro­tect them­selves from get­ting HIV. Scot­land led the way by al­low­ing PrEP on the NHS, ex­pand­ing their preven­tion op­tions and con­tribut­ing to the global mis­sion against HIV.

There are 5213 peo­ple di­ag­nosed as liv­ing with HIV in Scot­land, 368 of whom were re­ported last year.

Clare Haughey was one of a number of MSPs who met at par­lia­ment for World AIDS Day and mark the stigma­bust­ing book’s pub­li­ca­tion.

“Stigma is still a huge is­sue for peo­ple liv­ing with HIV in Scot­land. It is one of the big­gest bar­ri­ers to test­ing, can stop peo­ple from ac­cess­ing treat­ment and sup­port,” said Clare Haughey.

“Of­ten peo­ple fear telling fam­ily, friends and part­ners their sta­tus which can lead to iso­la­tion and men­tal health prob­lems. By work­ing to­gether and tak­ing a strong po­si­tion on ad­dress­ing stigma, in­equal­ity and so­cial ex­clu­sion, we can make a real dif­fer­ence to the lives of peo­ple liv­ing with HIV. This book is a new tool to ed­u­cate and in­form peo­ple about the modern-day re­al­i­ties of HIV, and I’m proud to sup­port HIV Scot­land’s work.”

Every year on De­cem­ber 1 peo­ple across the globe mark World AIDS Day: the in­ter­na­tional day to re­mem­ber the 35 mil­lion peo­ple who have died world­wide from AIDS-re­lated ill­nesses, to pre­vent new cases of HIV and to stand in sol­i­dar­ity with peo­ple liv­ing with the virus.

Sup­port Clare Haughey MSP, right, with HIV Scot­land rep­re­sen­ta­tives and fel­low par­lia­men­tar­i­ans

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