HIV Prevention and Early Diagnosis

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Conference
2014 National LGBT Conference
Date
23 July 2014
Decision

That this Conference notes that as of June 2013, 131,327 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections have been diagnosed in the UK since the epidemic (pandemic) began in the early 1980s: at least 21,350 are known to have died.

The overwhelming majority (>95%) of HIV infections reported over the past 10 years in the UK were acquired through sexual contact. HIV infections acquired through heterosexual contact accounted for 45% new diagnoses in 2012 whilst 51% were among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Many HIV infected persons have not yet had their infection diagnosed. The infection is still frequently regarded as stigmatising and may remain silent for several years. HIV-infected individuals diagnosed late may not fully benefit from therapy and are at an increased risk of early death. Late diagnosis also means that options for avoiding on-going transmission through clinical and behavioural preventive measures are reduced. Men who have sex with men diagnosed late are fourteen times more likely to die within a year of their HIV diagnosis.

A number of national HIV and HIV testing action plans have been published across the UK. These plans aims to reduce the number of HIV transmissions taking place through increased prevention, increasing early diagnosis and improving the treatment and care of those living with the virus.

Conference calls upon the UNISON lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender committee to:

1. Campaign and lobby political parties, Westminster and devolved UK governments in order to ensure that continued support and funding is provided to ensure that action to increase prevention, increase early diagnosis and improving the treatment and care of those living with the virus; and,

2. Provide information for Branches and other UNISON groups on accessing HIV testing and help to get important sexual health information into workplaces and UNISON publications.”