The general election is a crucial opportunity to raise the profile of HIV and the need to address sexual health inequalities. Please add your voice to our campaign.
We've come a long way since the 1980s. While stigma and discrimination remain, HIV is now a long-term condition and individuals are living with HIV into old age.
HIV treatment in the UK is excellent, but not everyone living with HIV is doing well. The number of people diagnosed with HIV each year remains high and far too many people are diagnosed late. Services which help people living with HIV manage their condition are facing continued funding cuts and access to essential peer support is diminishing across the country.
We have come so far. We cannot stop now.
There is currently no national cross-sector sexual health strategy and no national vision or ambition on what the country is trying to achieve around sexual health.
Rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis are soaring and the emergence of drug-resistant sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is continuing. Clear sexual health inequalities are continuing with black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, young people, people living with HIV, and gay and bisexual men, being the most affected by STIs.
Sexual health budgets have been cut by a quarter and there is no long-term funding solution for sexual health services .
We're calling on the next Government to:
- Deliver on the commitment to end new HIV transmissions by 2030.*
- Commit to, and deliver, a national sexual health strategy that sets out bold ambitions to tackle STIs and improve the nation’s sexual health.*
- Commit to tackling the stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV.
- Invest in public health and fully fund sexual health services to meet the needs of all communities.*
- Invest sufficient funding for training, resources and support to ensure that LGBT+-inclusive relationships and sex education (RSE) is taught to a high standard in all schools.*
- Implement the routine commissioning of PrEP from April 2020 and in the interim ensure that no one is turned away from the PrEP Impact Trial.*
- Ensure that the health and social care system supports people with HIV to live and age well.*
- Guarantee that migrants living with HIV or those at risk have access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment that meets their needs, regardless of immigration status.
* The general election is electing MPs to the House of Commons, from across the UK. The House of Commons legislates for health and social care, and education, in England only. The devolved Governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland legislate in these areas.
Take action now
It’s time to take action. What will your local candidates do to stand up for sexual health?
- Find out who your local candidates are. You can identify your local council by entering your postcode.
- Ask your candidates to support our manifesto for the next Parliament and UK Government.
- Speak to your candidates on social media, at public meetings and when they’re on your doorstep. You don’t have to be an expert – all you need to do is ask them what they will do to improve the nation's sexual health.
Don’t forget to let us know how your local candidates responded - email us on [email protected].
Use our suggested tweets to share your support on social media and let people know you have taken action:
- I've challenged my local MP candidates to support people living with HIV. Join me by sharing the #SexualHealthManifesto
- Sexual Health is misunderstood and under-funded. Put it back on the agenda this election with the #SexualHealthManifesto
- I pledge to stand with people affected by HIV this general election and to tackle the rising rates of STIs – do you? #SexualHealthManifesto
- I’m calling on the next government to tackle the rising rates of STIs. #SexualHealthManifesto
You can download our pledge board, print it out and show your support by holding it up and taking a photo.
An example tweet to go alongside the photo might be:
- I pledge to stand up for sexual health and HIV! Sexual health must be prioritised by the next government. #SexualHealthManifesto #GE2019
It is also World AIDS Day on Sunday 1 December 2019, where it would give you another opportunity to support the manifesto, people living with HIV and those tackling sexual health.