On Thursday 5 December we held a live Q&A session on Twitter for prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) to discuss what their party is doing to support sexual health.
We questioned the candidates on a wide range of topics in relation to the Sexual Health Manifesto, which is supported by over 30 organisations.
We invited all PPCs in England to take part. Here is a round up of what was said:
1. The UK Government has committed to ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. How will you help to achieve this?
Green Party PPCs stated that they wanted to increase testing, tackle stigma through education and ensure PrEP is available for free on the NHS.
.@NAT_AIDS_Trust - @TheGreenParty is committed to ending new HIV transmissions by 2030 by:
Increasing testing including in public buildings
Reducing the stigma surrounding HIV through RSE
Making PrEP available for free on the NHS#SexualHealthManifesto
— Alexandra Phillips MEP 💚🍉🌎 (@alexforeurope) December 5, 2019
Labour Party PPCs stated to meet this target sexual health services needed to be fully funded and a complete rollout of PrEP was needed.
Liberal Democrat PPCs advised that they would address this through education in schools and a public information campaign.
.@NAT_AIDS_Trust education is vital in ending new HIV tranmissions. The @LibDems believe in sex education in schools but it is also important among adults. We need to invest in spreading the word about safe sex. #sexualhealthmanifesto #RSE#LibDems
— Dawn Barnes 🔶 (@Dawn_Barnes) December 5, 2019
2. BAME and LGBTQ+ communities are disproportionately impacted by poor sexual health. What would you do to address these inequalities?
Green Party PPCs said they would ensure that they would respect those communities and ensure that any forms of discrimination is challenged.
Labour Party PPCs stated that the third sector should be fully supported to provide specific health services and informational campaigns.
I’m proud 2support UK Black Pride & had the honour of speaking at the event in 2016. I’ve worked to challenge BAME faith groups to break down stereotypes. I will continue to work on being a strong advocate of all our BAME & LGBTQ+ communities to help them access vital services.
— Florence Eshalomi (@FloEshalomi) December 5, 2019
Liberal Democrat PPCs advised that they will address inequalities in health service access faced by same-sex couples and continue to improve LGBT+ healthcare overall.
3. How would you ensure investment in public health, including sexual health?
Green Party PPCs advised that they would invest in a sexual health strategy and invest in quality and accessible sexual health services.
.@NAT_AIDS_Trust @TheGreenParty would increase NHS funding by £6bn/yr, focusing some funding on construction of new community health centres, bringing healthcare closer to peoples homes & pioneering preventative healthcare, including sexual health. #SexualHealthManifesto
— Lucy Bannister 💚 (@LucyBan_Green) December 5, 2019
Labour Party PPCs said they will invest £1 billion after years of cuts to the public health budget.
Tory austerity has decimated local authority funding & with it, localised public health services. As a local councillor and former public health worker in local govt., I'll push to ensure LAs can evidence the need for more PH funding. #SexualHealthManifesto
— Cllr Joshua Garfield (@JoshuaGarfield) December 5, 2019
Liberal Democrat PPCs stated they will keep public health in local authorities and make sure the funds are granted to join up public health and NHS services.
4. PrEP is highly effective medication that prevents the spread of HIV. How would you make sure that it is made available to all those at risk of HIV from April 2020?
Green Party PPCs said that they will ensure that PrEP is provided by NHS England without delay.
Labour Party PPCs advised they would fully fund PrEP and make it available to all who need it.
Liberal Democrat PPCs stated they would make PrEP available for anyone who needs it. They would then make it available on the NHS like any other prescription.
5. What will you do to help break down the discrimination and stigma people living with HIV face?
Green Party PPCs said they will end the opt-out of LGBTIQA+ inclusive RSE classes at school and increase information about HIV and AIDS among young people.
.@NAT_AIDS_Trust @TheGreenparty will create a new Ministry for the Interior, fully committed to upholding human rights. Increased funding to support prevention & prosecution of all hate crimes, police officers to be given further training in this area. 1/2 #SexualHealthManifesto
— Andrew Johns, Green Party PPC for Walthamstow (@GreenPartyAJ) December 5, 2019
Labour Party PPCs stated to help break the stigma we have to be open and to talk about HIV. They pledge to stand with people affected by HIV and to campaign alongside them to end the stigma and misinformation. This must be taught in schools through RSE.
Liberal Democrat PPCs said that they would fund a public information campaigns to tackle stigmas in specific groups and communities, including those with HIV.
Thank you to all the candidates who took part in the session. We’re pleased all the candidates are committed to ending HIV stigma, new transmissions of HIV, a full roll out of PrEP in England, and for supporting fully inclusive relationships and sex education.
There is one week until election day. This General Election is a crucial opportunity to raise the profile of HIV and the need to address sexual health inequalities.
Read more on why the Sexual Health Manifesto is so important and show your support using #SexualHealthManifesto.