The Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has set out a commitment to end transmission of HIV in England by 2030. He said this will happen through better prevention, detection, and treatment.
The announcement was made at the AIDSfree Cities Global Forum organised by the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), Evening Standard and The Independent.
The work to end transmissions will be supported by £600,000 in funding from Public Health England’s HIV Prevention Innovation Fund.
The funding will go to 13 innovative UK schemes to help reduce the risk of people getting HIV and reduce stigma.
An expert group will also be created to develop an action plan. Prevention will be at the heart of the plan, along with measurable action points for groups of people who are at risk of infection.
The UK has played a lead role in addressing HIV since the epidemic started, helping to stop AIDS-related deaths, preventing new HIV infections and investing in research and technology.
Innovative antiretroviral treatment has meant people diagnosed with HIV living in the UK can lead normal and long lives. With more people in Britain on lifesaving treatment that ever before, fewer people will become infected as a result. New cases of HIV fell by 28% in the last 2 years.
HIV testing in sexual health services in England has increased by 15% from 2013 to 2017. HIV testing is an important part of ending the epidemic. It decreases the number of people living with HIV who are unaware of their infection and who may pass on the virus.
Reducing stigma of the disease is also a big part of the work as this can prevent people from getting tested.