- 2010 National Disabled Members' Conference
- 8 July 2010
Conference is concerned about the lack of awareness of HIV and its impacts within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT).
HIV from the point of diagnosis to long term treatment is covered under the Disability Discrimination Act as a disability and there is widespread ignorance; 40% of gay men have HIV and are not aware they carry the virus.
Within the UK over 70,000 people live with HIV, however 20,000 are undiagnosed and carry the virus without realising – that’s almost 30%.
We are unsure of the thousands indirectly affected by HIV who are either partners, families, friends or colleagues and the impact it has on their lives.
Conference we note that there are massive spending cuts planned within front line public services; it costs the NHS £0.3m to treat an individual with HIV and the cost to treat the 20,000 undiagnosed will be £6bn.
We need to support local services and charities, the NHS and employers to support the LGBT community. There is a postcode lottery across the country for HIV services and particular challenges within the rural communities, where access to these services is compounded by uncompassionate employers challenging the time taken by LGBT members and tackling on grounds of capability.
HIV has many impacts – rife discrimination (and from the LGBT community), mental health (especially long term depression), physical side effects of treatment, having to “come out” again, employability and when and where to disclose within the workplace, social stigmatism and the need for an individual support network.
Conference we have highlighted there is great ignorance and a lack of information being shared around HIV, let us come out about this critical issue and promote HIV awareness, its associated impacts and workplace issues.
This Conference calls upon the National Disabled Members Committee to;
1. Encourage all branches / regions to be active on World Aids Day in 2010/2011
2.Launch and co ordinate an informative campaign to raise awareness of HIV throughout 2011
3.Encourage UNISON to collaborate with external organisations (i.e. NHS) to raise awareness throughout 2011
4.Publish an information article within our members and stewards newsletter and website
5.Continue working in partnership with UNISON welfare services to support members with HIV and their partners and families and ensure we will continue to get access to services.
6. Ask our 1.3 million voices to appreciate the impact HIV has on the individual, their partner, friends and family AND to protect them and help prevent future cases of HIV infection
7.Campaign for specific duties under the new equality act so that HIV related discrimination be eradicated from society.