UK MEPs have called on the European Union to intensify efforts to curb the HIV epidemic ahead of Saturday’s World AIDS Day.

In a statement released on Friday, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat MEP for London and vice chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats said there is still “much to be done to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout Europe and worldwide, and to tackle the stigmatisation and discrimination which affects people living with the disease”.

Earlier this week, figures from the UK’s Health Protection Agency showed that a record number of gay and bisexual men were diagnosed with HIV last year.

Commenting on the figures, Labour MEP Michael Cashman said: “News that the UK has hit its highest-ever diagnosis of HIV/AIDS among gay men reminds us that we should not be silent or, worse still, complacent, if we want to achieve an AIDS-free world.

“The European Union has always been at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Mr Cashman said.

“In the European Parliament, we keep advocating for more commitments to be made by governments and international organisations to the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

The MEP added: “European governments must stand up against the discrimination that people living with HIV/AIDS are faced with”.

Today, in an exclusive interview with PinkNews.co.uk, Jean-Luc Romero, France’s first ever politician to be open about being HIV positive urged the European Commission to play a greater role in reducing infection rates across the union.

“I think the European Commission could do a lot more concerning certain issues, especially access to treatments, risk reduction policy,” Mr Romero said. “Yes, definitely, the European Commission could be more present in the big debates.”