Council chief pledges to end new cases of HIV in borough

The leader of Trafford Council has committed the borough to helping end new cases of HIV by 2025.

Cllr Andrew Western signed the Paris Declaration as part of the process of Greater Manchester becoming an HIV Fast Track city region.

The aim of the HIV city initiative is to eliminate new HIV infections by 2030; eliminate preventable deaths from HIV related causes; reduce HIV associated stigma and discrimination to zero by 2020 and improve the health, quality of life and wellbeing of people living with HIV.

To achieve these aims, a £1m fighting fund has been launched by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, alongside current prevention, testing and treatment work.

In 2016, 4,906 people had an HIV diagnosis in Greater Manchester; alongside an estimated 745 people in which HIV remains undiagnosed.

The rate of new diagnoses of HIV in Greater Manchester is higher than the national average, as is the rate of late diagnosis. This causes increased problems to the individual, as well as the health of the population, due to an increased risk of onward transmission.

Cllr Western said:

The aim to end new cases of HIV is ambitious but we should not be afraid to be bold in confronting the scourge of HIV.

Thankfully, contracting HIV is no longer the short death sentence it once was and HIV treatments are enabling people to live longer, healthier lives. But we still need to do more to improve the quality of life of people with HIV and reduce the stigma that sadly still surrounds people who contract HIV.

Eleanor Roaf, Trafford Council’s interim director of public health, said:

While there is still no cure for HIV, the treatment is now very effective, especially if HIV is diagnosed early. We would encourage people to take an HIV test if they are concerned.

Getting an HIV test is quick and easy, and the Passionate about Sexual Health website gives a list of local services for HIV testing, advice, information and support.

HIV is also preventable and we would encourage people to use safer sex measures such as condoms to protect themselves from infection.

Cllr Western and Ms Roaf will also be attending a special World Aids Day event in the next few weeks, alongside Greater Manchester partners.

Posted on Friday 30th November 2018