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Shadow health minister Diane Abbott attacks cuts to HIV funding

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  1. I think Diane Abbott is more than capable of holding her own and fighting against the cuts in HIV funding. I hope she sticks to facts (which the reporting in this article seems to suggest she has so far) and doesnt overly politicize it – but deals with it both from a fairness and equality angle and from the long term damage that such funding cuts will cause – including a much higher bill in the future (isnt that why the government say they want so many cuts now – this cut will cost more long term)

    1. Good comment Stu – I agree. And good for Diane Abbott for sticking up for this.

  2. Jock S. Trap 29 Mar 2011, 4:39pm

    Good for Ms Abbott. Always thought she should have been leader of the party as she is the only one with ‘balls’ and the only one with some kind of personality.

    It’s good that she is challenging this, it does need to be and the more the better.

    I fear for how damaging these cuts will leave these help charities and how that will leave the vunerable.

    The government on this need to revise their plans and make this much fairer, therefore helping a problem that is growing not decreasing.

    Sure we have to have cuts but at the expense of health issues? I think not.

    1. Absolutely – agree 100%

  3. All this demonstrates is that the “Big Society” (which conveniently abbreviates to BS) treats everyone equally. Whoever you are, under Cameron’s Con-Dems, we are ALL screwed.

    Am I surprised that the cuts are this brutal? Not at all, our utterly unqualified chancellor does not give a damn about any of us. What we are witnessing is an experiment, on a national level, that will devastate anyone who is not like him.

    In other words, I suppose that it is hard to keep politics out of this when politics is at the absolute core. Do any of us want our country to be so wantonly cavalier about how it treats the health and wellbeing of its citizens? If Mrs Abbott is correct and there has been no credible impact assessment of these cuts then it really is experimenting and “trial and error” is not a good model when lives are at stake.

    1. I agree with many of your comments.

      I think HIV funding is too significant an issue to get wrong and thus either an overtly political campaign or the “experimentation” you suggest (unless Ms Abbott is wrong and there is a credible impact assessment that shows how to responsibly deal with the issue – which I doubt) are both wrong.

      Hopefully, Ms Abbott will be able to work with others including Elton John, THT and others to form a cohesive and broad based (politically) campaign that exposes the inherent wrongs in these particular cuts and how short sighted and dangerous they are.

      1. “Whoever you are, under Cameron’s Con-Dems, we are ALL screwed”

        Funding is rapidly drying up for LGBT charities, but not for Christian charities there funding is rapidly increasing! Take a look at the hundreds of thousands of pounds councils and Police forces are giving to the Street Pastors:

        We seriously need to separate church from state! Here is a nice picture of Prince Charles meeting Street Pastors and it’s on his own website:

        1. May surprise you … but absolutely separate church and state – they do not belong together …

          There is an element of this cuts that does screw potentially the entire nation

          Im not sure the reason is police giving to street pastors … but the broad points you make I agree with

        2. Jock S. Trap 30 Mar 2011, 7:31am

          Totally agree with that Cleggy.

          1. Take a look at the Street Pastors and the area’s they now cover with the help of council/police funding:

            These homophobic evangelical Pastors are standing shoulder to shoulder with the police drawing up policy on policing the communities.

          2. Jock S. Trap 30 Mar 2011, 11:56am

            Great more of that religious agenda on our streets. It’s as if you can’t help anyone unless you belong to the bloody church!

            We all know they will be very selective in who they help unlike someone who isn’t religious who would more likely be non-discriminating.

          3. I struggle with any involvement of faith groups in doing something like this. I don’t think its good. Notwithstanding that I think policing should be done by the police.

            That said, putting to one side the issue of actual patrols which make no sense to me whatsoever, and turning to the issue of the police consulting these groups. Firstly, the police have a legal duty to consult their communities and this consultation should be seen as both open (so all who wish to contribute are able to) and representative and covering all factors influencing the community. When I was in the police, we consulted faith groups but we also consulted race related groups, LGBT groups, disability forums, community associations, youth groups, elderly care groups, sex workers, resident associations, health providers, domestic violence workers etc etc All of them have something to contribute to how crime and anti social behaviour is tackled – provided its about those issues and not preaching etc.

          4. Also I think the street pastors comments are a bit off topic …

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    1. Paddyswurds 30 Mar 2011, 9:42am

      “End the Fear. Fend the Rear”.

  5. ““Ultimately, it doesn’t even save money. It costs £300,000 to treat a person with HIV over their lifetime. This could prove more expensive for the state.”

    Um, right, Carl. So by your own figures, your insipid, lack lustre PC HIV campaigns of the last 10 years that have been devoid of impact and have encouraged gay men to “Pull our before you come” has cost the taxpayer millions to treat the hundreds of gay men you failed to educate and who went on to contract HIV while your organisation instead focused its efforts on endorsing underground sleaze clubs while defending the so-called rights of positive men to have undisclosed sex, to name but a few. The sad fact is, ministers only have to lay claim that gay men are bare backing with abandon regardless when really they have been ENCOURAGED to do so by your one-size-fits-all HIV ads that have sought to address positive and negative men simultaneously rather than aiming a “play safe always” message squarely at negative men. Shame on you!

    1. Surely its simple economics …

      If you spend less than the cost of HIV drugs for one persons entire life on a campaign and it influences the infection rate (which some campaigns have been evidenced as doing) then you save money long term …

      1. I would not argue at all that some ads over the decades have had a very influential impact in preventing a number of HIV conversions. But in recent years more often than not this hasn’t been the case. I recall an independent survey of gay men conducted 2 years ago that found that many younger gay men were actually incentivised into engaging in unsafe sex due to adverts put out by the GMFA that advocated the withdrawal method (pulling out before coming) instead of using condoms. GMFA argued at the time that they needed to address those who regularly barebacked, but they aimed this reckless message at ALL gay men regardless of status in magazines like Boyz and QX, thereby transmitting the message that bareback sex was OK and that there was an element of safety so long as you don’t come inside someone. The fact is that ads like these justified to many their decision to bareback, and of course in the heat of the moment you are not thinking about the most appropriate moment to pull out!

        1. @SamuelB

          Whilst you have very valid points that you raise – I would argue that not all HIV related education has been of the manner you discuss. There does need to be some (carefully directed and formulated) response to those who choose or may choose to bareback. However, there needs to be a consistent message otherwise any effective impact that there has been on HIV infection rates will be lost by a shortsighted failure to invest in preventative education etc.

  6. FloridaHank 29 Mar 2011, 11:52pm

    A positive way to decrease HIV illness is for hetero’s and homo’s
    not to engage in extramarital sex.
    Just keep everything inside your
    pants unless you’re married.

    1. Thats a lifestyle choice that if everyone consistently did it would almost certainly result in a decrease in HIV infection

      However, I think there would be other health and social issues from other problems it would create – frustration, anxiety, distress … not for all but some

      In any event, pre marital (or civil partnership) sex isnt the cause of HIV or the cause of the problem of it spreading – the reason for it spreading is (in part) due to unsafe sex …

    2. Hank, believing sustenance is a valid cure has been proven to be useless. This is why 24% of Botswana has HIV/AIDS. HIV, like all diseases, need to address the real cause, not idealistic endeavours. A more effective solution, and proven so, is safe sex edcuation and condoms, as people are going to listen to your view on what they should and should not do.

      1. sustenance=abstention

    3. Although Hank, I am delighted you now support gay marriage. Well done!

      1. @Will

        Yeah I was pleased to see a recognition of the equality of same sex marriage

        My comment that abstinence could decrease infection rates is purely hypothetical – the research of schemes in real life has shown that they mostly do not have any beneficial impact on infection rates

        1. Agreed. Its the difference between enforcing an ideal that is proven not work and addressing the reality of basic human behaviour. If you can’t change the behaviour, then protect the interaction of that behaviour for the safety of both parties.

          (Although I seriously doubt Hank has any positive inclination to same sex marriage, but we live in hope of humanities ability to crawl from the depths of prejudice and ignorance… even with Hank, he might surprise us yet)

          1. Absolutely – by all means test theories that may works in practice but bear in mind that human behaviour is a variable in how effective that theory may or may not be. We have done that in a number of places and the variance is so much that makes it unworkable – so lets protect people with quality education and safe sex initiatives. Thats what they do in Botswana now (albeit in a different way – and not if you are in prison sheesh!).

            He might change, I doubt he has – but the wording of his comment (intentional or not, made with honesty or not) does frankly suggest he does accept – although I personally think we need more evidence to be sure of that.

    4. Jock S. Trap 30 Mar 2011, 10:14am


      Best we get Equal Marriage then, innit!

      1. Absolutely we need it – and it might change some things in the LGBT communities.

        However, whilst it is essential in LGBT equality and desireable for a whole host of reasons – its not the panacea that solves the HIV infection issue that Hank suggests.

        But, Jock S Trap – I am with you – bring on same sex marriage that is equal.

    5. manycountries don’t allow marriage for same-sex couples so you are condemning many to never showing the person they love any intimacy, then there’s those who are only after sex

      1. @Chester

        Well said. I think we should be tackling HIV issues for all and pushing for equality in terms of marriage – lets not get confused by thinking the two issues are linked. Hanks preposition is unrealistic and if followed means many are denied a public health message – that can not be right.

  7. How The Christian Institute hates Diane Abbott, have you seen how they place their “moral” ratings against MP’s on how they vote and act on certain issues?

    1. Surely moral ratings is just a game – of about as much value as me and my friends scoring Eurovision acts out of 10 on various categories – its subjective and it doesn’t influence descision making in any way … Whilst The Christian Institute have every right to freedom of speech and say how they “morally score” MPs – it lacks any real value, speaks of a judgemental organisation (not sure they hold any moral authority to judge) and, I perceive, is motivated by bigotry.

      1. They at The Christian Institute profess to represent people who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible in all things…in other words they are a bit daft and don’t have any respect for factual evidence or legitimate scientific research that conflicts with their book.
        Plus they are unpleasantly hostile to LGBT’s on top of all that, just how they keep their charitable status with all the politicking they do is a wonder to me.

        1. @Pavlos

          I am aware of the lack of transparency and vindictive nature of The Christian Institute (ashamed to know they are based in the place of my birth – Newcastle). They try to disguise their lack of any sense of rigour to their views with a thinly veiled sense of “reasoned” diatribes that do not stand the test of any evaluation that is calm and rational.
          I struggle to understand how they maintain charitable status either … Wonders when charities commission last reviewed the conduct of The Christian Institute ….

    2. Jock S. Trap 30 Mar 2011, 2:35pm

      Of course the Christian Institutes hates Diane Abbott, she thinks for herself and acts to protect the community as a whole, unlike the Christian Institute.

      Free thinking? Whatever next.

  8. An analysis of the AIDS support grant for 2010/11 is available at
    GMFA has just been awarded £99,000 from HM Government invstment of £4 million pounds, more details can be found at

    1. It is an interesting analysis – but the spreadsheet attachment only relates to London Boroughs … what about the people outside of the M25 (they do exist) who have HIV or may get HIV.

      1. Also, I may be misinterpreting the spreadsheet but it looks like this relates particularly to costs of care, treatment etc

        Where do we find the figures for prevention?

        1. Stu hi,

          This may provide an answer, again a Freedom of Information request to the Dept. of Health

          1. Hi Kevin

            Thanks – provides some of the answers

      2. Stu hi,

        The AIDS Support grant published by the Dept. of Health for 2010/11 can be found at , there are some 412 local authroities, this is a large task, though we did create which you may find additional information

        1. Hi Kevin

          Provides some interesting figures

          1. Stu hi,

            Also from the 3.2 million people claiming DLA in the UK about 8,500 are listed for HIv/AIDS, about 800 claim AA, 86 are supported by the Independant Living Fund and it estimated that some 92,000 people live with HIV in the UK.

  9. The cost of treatment, care and support is estimated to be about £8,500 per person in London. A freedom of information has been sent to the LSCG for the accounts for 2010/11. The previous results can be found at which presents a different alternative.

  10. Hackney Resident 30 Mar 2011, 10:33am

    Maybe she could step in and ‘ bridge the gap’ – after all, she gets enough cash from her PR stunts on the telly? She even sent her son to one of the most expensive public schools in the coutry. Put up or shut up, Diane.

    1. @Hackney Resident

      Ok she earns money through TV appearances etc

      Ok she sent her son to public school (which although many though was hypocritical she – to her credit – stood up and defended her right to choose as a parent)

      They are easy things to throw at a politician.

      Do you know how much money she already gives to charities, HIV related or otherwise? I will admit I don’t but I suspect you don’t either, and until you can verify that she isn’t already doing that (in a quiet way without drawing attention to herself) then find some way of attacking her (for doing her job as a shadow health minister) that is based on evidence rather than supposition and political rhetoric

    2. Jock S. Trap 30 Mar 2011, 11:59am

      Hackney Resident,

      But unlike most of here colleagues Diane actually has a spine and some balls to stand up for what she believes in.

      1. Absolutely!

        and she will happily explain why she acts in certain ways even if there is a perception that it is at odds with her political values – when looked at with some sophistication you can see she is far from spineless

  11. A freedom of information request to the Dept. of Health list it grants to various HIV charities.

    1. The Food Chain recently received £1million pounds

      There is money out there, even from the London analysis 10% still has not been spent.

  12. Andy O'Malley 30 Mar 2011, 1:07pm

    people do live outside London with HIV as well. we will be disproportionally affected by these funding changes

    1. I fear that realistically that will be the case, Andy

    2. Andy hi,

      TCell is UK wide which includes Northern Ireland, some of the analysis we complete do concentrate in London, we know that 50% of people live in London, we never discount the other regions and ask if others obtain this information, we have happy to post the information.

      The Health Protection Agency collects and provides this information

      The AIDS Support grant will list the the Dept. of Health allocation. Other than TCell , and are good resources that reach different perts of the country

      1. Hi Kevin

        I wasnt suggesting that ThCell were ignoring people outside of the M25, I think the work you have done and do is valuable. I also accept there are more HIV+ people (who are known) within the M25. I do think that targetting of prevention and care/treatment/support outside the M25 is not as cohesive as within, inevitably meaning that access to services is more difficult.

        1. Stu hi,

          It would be good to cover the wider HIV community though need others to access the informational locally for this to be collected and analysed. We know from the HPA that about 2,800 people outside London access services within London, this may encompass those within the M25 area.

          1. HI Kevin

            In the future I would be interested in helping support that information – currently on long term sick but when a bit more sorted, I would offer to help

  13. We know what’s coming next, don’t we? Those with HIV will be told that the country can no longer continue freely handing out topline antivirals, and those that want to continue receiving them will be expected to contribute to their cost. Those who can’t afford to will be forced onto cheaper, less effective generics, and we will start to see more gay men progressing to full-blown AIDS more quickly.

    A lot of emphasis has been put on how wonderful the drugs are at prolonging the lives of HIV-positive people, but a recent study of 40,000 HIV patients in the USA revealed that by middle-age, the body of a 21-year-old contracting HIV today will function like that of an 80-plus year old, and that complications arising from the drugs are as likely to kill him as AIDS itself. It is the deception spread by the HIV charities themselves – that AIDS drugs are a miracle panacea – that is largely to blame for many gay men dispensing with condoms in the first place, and now we are to pay the price.

    1. If they want to go down that line then they need to get rid of NICE, demonstrate the savings from not treating the pneumonias and other complications of AIDS and win a battle re morality on it played out in the 24 hour media – can’t see that happening

      I dont think this HIV funding cut is right – I think it is political but not because its HIV – they are just short sightedly cutting everything even if it means the result of reducing spending means higher costs later

  14. Diane Abbott is a waste of space.
    Diane Abbott would have made a useless leader for the labour party, but she would have never got there anyway, and she never will.

    She is easily flustered and inarticulate. Not to mention unattractive and pretentious.

    Abbott only has tits in the same sense that John Prescott has tits. If she wasn’t such a sack of lard she’d be flat-chested.

    Ed Miliband is a right dick.

    When the AV goes through, the BNP will get a great look in and get more votes, then we can start clearing things up.

    1. Demonstrates clearly the eloquence of the BNP

      So politics is about tits and being attractive

      Im not a Labour supporter but Diane Abbot has more back bone and intelligence in her little finger than you will ever have

    2. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 8:39am


      And yet compared to the other candidates she was the only one with a spine, the only one with a personality and ironically the only one have seems to have a pair of balls.

  15. AIDS funding should be cut.
    People should take responsibility for their own actions, and should face the consiquences of their stupidity.

    1. Don’t think this was funding specifically at AIDS – it was about HIV

      So the baby who gets HIV from its mother – stupid?

      The haemophiliac who gets it from a blood product – stupid?

      The rape victim who gets HIV – stupid?

      The police officer who is stabbed with a used syringe with blood in and contracts HIV – stupid?

      The guy having sex for the first time ever and using a condom but still gets it (its safer sex, not safe sex) – stupid?

      And many more

      Yes others make foolish decisions – but so do smokers, alcoholics, people who dont watch as they cross the road and get knocked over, people who speed, people who take drugs, etc etc

      Now explain to me again why HIV funding should be cut?

      1. For clarity I know AIDS and HIV are related but HIV is far more prevalent and is what this funding is about

    2. Anyone get the impression Bob is LU? I mean the rabid insane want to murder people, the ridiculous statements to inflame, its all too similar….

      1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 8:44am

        Yes Will, then they try and tell us thats religion, all about the love and peace.

        1. Anyone get the impression those two Ant and Dec wannabes ‘Will & Jock’ are Dames Hinge and Brackett in (ahem, male, presumably) drag? Oops, silly me, didn’t one of those luvvies pop her clogs a few years back? I stand corrected.

          1. Oh, hilarious William. Oh, it hurts from laughter, so sharp, so witty! Oh, mercy….

            What’s wrong, can’t find anything blame on “political correctness” this week?

            Wonder why, William? I mean, its such an intelligent theory for blaming everything that’s wrong in your life on…. and presumably why you’re about as funny as an orphanage on fire, no doubt.

            You fool.

    3. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 8:43am

      Is this the same Bob who wishes people whould kill themselves so they can love their religion?

      And still with that message here. What a charmer… not.

      How come religious people like you are so thick? So uneducated? So obsessed with Gay sites? Is your other window there a bit of juice gay porn Bob?

      What a creep.

      1. Creep is putting it mildly. Bob in another thread called for gay people to “commit suicide” to make so called christians happy. I would say repugnant animal better describes him. Its a sickness in humanity that people like Bob him even exist.

        1. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 9:33am

          I wish they’d get help rather than make the rest of us suffer.

          1. Totally agree Jock…. the only think that more disturbing than a religious basket case is one who insists on pushing that mindless dribble on to others. They should keep it to themselves…. to be a religious nut is one thing, but boring, well, that’s just tragic.

          2. Jock S. Trap 31 Mar 2011, 10:29am

            Too true will.

            Although I have to add that we have those ‘atheists’ who seem to want to continuously make excuses for them too.

            I mean whata that all about.

        2. Whether Bob is LU or someone else – he has been reported to the police by someone connected to the other thread … Hate crime prosecution here we come, I hope

          1. Good.

            Its fairly obvious that LU is Bob, it (whatever animal “it” is) seems desperate to get that rather unique message of “its good to kills gays” out here as much as possible. Can’t be too many of them outside secure psychiatric care with access to computers.

    4. Bob wrote

      “AIDS funding should be cut.
      People should take responsibility for their own actions, and should face the consiquences of their stupidity.”

      Bob. A few questions

      Would you say that an infant who contracts HIV from its mother is stupid.?

      Would you say that a Lesbain who is subjected to corrective Rape in Africa, and then becomes infected with HIV; is stupid.?

      Would you say that a hereosexual male who becomes infected with HIV from a blood transfusion is stupid?

      1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 2:25pm

        Being that this effect all but the Gay and Black communities it means Bob is both homophobic and racist. As point out what about those born with it do you condemn those too? Those of rape? the fact you condemn everyone show you up and the lack of treatment your obviously getting.

        As well as totally uneducated.

  16. Will. Your post is ironic, you say that religious folk should stop pushing ‘dribble onto others’.

    How about gays stop pushing their sexuality on to others? Stop behaving in such a manner that provokes others, then they whinge about it.

    They should keep it to themselves…. they would be doing themselves a big favour.

    I hope to god AV comes, and my friend Nick comes in.

    Jock, you should like your from Old School, a gay that has to force others to accept him, stop forcing your sexuality on to others and maybe you will see a change in society.

    1. Bob you misunderstood soul

      You come on a gay website and are surprised when you find gay issues discussed … diddums

      I now understand the reason you struggle with you sentence construction – its that you dont have logic and reason.

      In the same way you appear not to have care or compassion, understanding or tolerance, humanity or respect.

      The foul evil (some would call demonic – although I would say thats too ironic for you to understand) diatribes are hate fuelled and I hope to hear of your arrest soon. See note above

    2. “Stop behaving in such a manner that provokes others, then they whinge about it.”

      LOL! Provoke? What, by existing? Er, no, Bob I won’t stop…. I am entitled to live my life as I see fit and its none of your business either how I do it. Get a life, you pathetic little man.

      What the hell is an AV anyway? Auxiliary Vector? Adult Video? And who the fcuk is Nick? Actually, does anyone really care? It looks to me like Bobby here has run out of meds. Best he call the hospital ward for more.

      Tell you what, I’ll stop ramming my gay pride into your flaccid face, when you stop interfering where you’re not wanted or of any value, yeah?

      Run along Bob, I’m sure you need to eat another few good books.

      What a buffoon.

      1. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 2:31pm

        I think he might mean stop writing on a Gay news thread?? But why is He here?

    3. @Bob

      In what way as you say, are Gay people pushing there sexuality onto heterosexuals.?

      When you say homosexuals should keep themseleves to themselves, what did you have in mind?

    4. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 2:29pm

      As usual Bob your full of crap and make No sense.

      If you mean pushing on others as people going about their business as like everyone else, which I suspect you do how do you account for this forcing.

      Who has ‘forced’ their sexuality on you? Are you Gay?

      You clearly a very bitter…( I was gonna say man but clearly a child)

      Educate us… How does someone ‘force’ their sexuality on others?

      This should be interesting. (for a laugh!)

    5. Jock S. Trap 1 Apr 2011, 2:33pm

      If Bob had 2 brain cells he could almost pass as a buffoon.

      1. Almost …. but not quite enough cells or use of them to reach much beyond ameoba status

  17. Without being sycophantic pink news is probably one of the most authoritative and accessible web sites for LGBT related news in the UK.

    Yes there are some less weighty articles – but that is the nature of news

    This article has been well presented – whether it was a lift from a news release or not – there is some opinion expressed. Its an appropriate item for this site.

  18. The alternative is googling gay and looking at the articles

    However, that does not provide the opportunity for debate and bouncing of thoughts and opinion that this site allows.

    Not all the stories are a few days after everyone else …

    There are comments in some of the reporting that I dont agree with – so I find it helpful to debate them here …

    Pity me all you like … I find it a useful service – if you don’t thats fine … perhaps you should do something about it to improve it then …

  19. The fact you can debate these issues is a benefit – you get a right to reply

    This article is hardly right wing …

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