Increase in HIV Education Spending

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2012 National LGBT Conference
27 July 2012
Carried as Amended

This conference notes the increasing Government cut backs on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) education. In 2010, the number of people living with HIV in the United Kingdom (UK) reached an estimated 91,500, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), with around a quarter of these people (22,000-plus) being unaware that they are infected.

The HPA says that HIV infections acquired within the UK almost have doubled in the last decade from 1,950 in 2001 to 3,640 in 2010. They now exceed those acquired abroad – 3,020.

Most new infections were transmitted through heterosexual sex; although gay and bisexual men still account for the largest single social group living with HIV in the UK and the rates of HIV are still highest in the gay community.

These statistics make depressing reading. They show that the government’s HIV strategy is not working and is failing our communities. Government have become too complacent despite the thousands of new HIV cases every year. There are no major public HIV awareness and prevention campaigns. Each year in schools and in the community the new generation needs educating about risky behaviours, and older generations need reminding and encouraging, so they sustain safer sex practices.

HIV education has become inadequate in most schools. Teaching pupils how to roll a condom on a banana is not good enough. It’s time the government woke up to the fact that the HIV pandemic is still with us, and put in place new go-getting policies to improve safer sex education, reduce infection rates and upgrade HIV support services.

This conference calls on the National lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Committee to work with the National Health Service Executive to increase its focus and campaign and lobby the Government to stop any cuts in education related to HIV and Sex Education in our schools and communities, to improve awareness in new policies on safer sex education and upgrade improvements on HIV support services.