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Getting ready for World AIDS Day Parliamentary Reception

Getting ready for World AIDS Day Parliamentary Reception

The reception brings together MPs, peers and people living with HIV.

We’re all gearing up at Terrence Higgins Trust for what will be one of the most exciting World AIDS Day events this year, our Parliamentary Reception.

To be held on Wednesday 30 November, the reception brings together people living with and affected by HIV, sector leaders and clinicians, along with MPs, peers and the Lord Speaker.

Our Parliamentary Reception is a great opportunity for us to engage with decision-makers and influencers to ensure that the campaigns that we are fighting for such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) availability on the NHS, compulsory Personal Social Health and Economic education including Sex and Relationships Education, and HIV specialist support, are all on their agendas.

Importantly, the event also allows parliamentarians to engage with people living with and affected by HIV so that they can better understand the essential treatment and support services required. It is also an opportunity to strengthen links with our friends and colleagues working in the HIV and sexual health sectors.

The reception will be held in the ornate River Room of the House of Lords. The room, which is not open to the public, is breathtaking - it overlooks the Thames, with Whitehall and the London Eye in view.

We’ve sent the invites out, ordered the catering and arranged a line-up of esteemed speakers, including the newly appointed Public Health Minister Nicola Blackwood MP, the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler, mother and entrepreneur Lizzie Jordan and our very own chief executive Ian Green.

This year we’re focusing the reception on the theme of 'It’s not over'. We’ve come a long way since the AIDS crisis first emerged, when so many lost their lives. Thankfully, medical advances now mean HIV doesn’t have to stand in the way of living a long and healthy life. But it’s not over.

More people than ever are living with HIV in the UK. One in six are living in poverty. Services are being cut, stigma and myths about HIV are still deeply entrenched, and we’re now seeing the first generation to grow old with HIV. We can’t stop now. This World AIDS Day, we’re still fighting, still caring and still wearing our red ribbon with pride.

Alex PhillipsAlex Phillips is Campaigns and Parliamentary Officer at Terrence Higgins Trust.