The South Belfast MLA stated: “I have heard myself from people with HIV who continue to emphasise that advertising campaigns in the past continue to contribute to an element of stigma around the virus, despite considerable improvements in treatment.
“We have to do more, therefore, to change attitudes but also to make treatments such as PrEP and PEP more widely available to ensure people can access them. We now know only too well also the value of anti-viral treatments. This in itself, I believe, will lead to a reduction in the stigma around HIV.
“We now have a clear evidence base from which we can seek to prevent infection and also treat HIV once someone is infected. The key now is to use these tools also to help reduce stigma.”