Current Affairs

Record number of HIV tests taken in Westminster in support of Halve It campaign

Joseph McCormick November 28, 2013
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A record number of MPs took part in the Halve It campaign today by having HIV tests in support of World AIDS Day.

On Wednesday 27 November, the Halve It campaign hosted a parliamentary World AIDS Day event in Committee Room 15 of the House of Commons.

A record number of eleven MPs took an HIV test in support of the campaign, including Shadow Minister for Public Health Luciana Berger. A further 30 parliamentarians signed a pledge in support of the campaign.

Halve It is a national coalition campaign that aims to halve late diagnosis and undiagnosed HIV in the UK by 2015. Its members represent a large number of high-profile organisations.

The eleven MPs who took part today were: Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree, Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, Tom Brake MP for Carshalton & Wallington, Alec Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet & Rothwell, Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster & Fleetwood, Stephen Mosley MP for City of Chester, Graham Evans MP for Weaver Vale, Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South, Russell Brown Dumfries & Galloway, Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton Pavilion and Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East,

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, was one of those who took an HIV test in support of the campaign.

Ms Lucas, who is giving the opening speech at the World AIDS Day event on Brighton Level this Sunday, said: “Sadly, Brighton and Hove continues to have the highest rate of HIV infection in the country outside London. Early testing and diagnosis are key to combating this epidemic, which is why I chose to be tested today. We need to remove the stigma around HIV testing.

Yesterday, Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, urged David Cameron to support efforts to increase HIV testing at Prime Minister’s Questions.

In England, the late diagnosis level is 50% whereas in Brighton & Hove it is much lower at around 30%

Figures released last week by Public Health England showed HIV infections among gay and bisexual men at a record high.

3,250 gay and bisexual men were diagnosed with HIV in 2012, the highest annual figure since the start of the epidemic.

More: Alec Shelbrooke, Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton Pavilion and Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East, eric ollerenshaw, Graham Evans MP for Weaver Vale, HIV Testing Week, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes MP for Ilford South, MP for Elmet & Rothwell, MPs, National HIV Testing Week, world aids day

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