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Muir: We need to get serious about tackling HIV

Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said the World Aids Day is the biggest opportunity each year to challenge the on-going high levels of HIV-related stigma in Northern Ireland.

Mr Muir said it was important to not only challenge local opinions, but raise awareness of HIV and show solidarity with those affected.

He added: “In Northern Ireland we have seen hugely significant advances over recent years, including the availability of PrEP medicine, the Undetectable equals Untransmittable campaign, and the work of committed local charities.

“And alongside this the figures are generally moving slightly downwards yet it remains extremely concerning that we still don’t have an HIV Action plan or Sexual Health Strategy for NI in place. This is just disappointing and unacceptable.

“HIV and stigma is not one Department’s responsibility. It requires an approach which is cross-cutting and covers key areas, including education, health, employment, civic society and others.

“We must get serious about HIV. We need to end inequalities, end aids and end pandemics.”