HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust is calling on the gay community to get behind its World AIDS Day campaign and raise funds to help stamp out HIV-related stigma.
World AIDS Day is taking place on 1 December, with a national HIV Testing Week occurring throughout England in the run up to the event.
In 2009, a UK-wide study reported that over a third of people with HIV – many of them gay men – had experienced discrimination in the previous year, whether from members of their own community, from doctors or other healthcare professionals, or even from other family members.
Cary James, head of programmes at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Thirty years on from the beginning of the epidemic, HIV remains surrounded by a level of stigma unmatched by any other medical condition”.
Mr James continued: “All over the country, our centres come into contact with people who have been routinely discriminated against, hounded from the workplace, barred from venues and services, disowned by their families, attacked and sometimes seriously hurt, all because they have contracted a virus that can be easily controlled with medication. This needs to change”.