Jo pledges support on World AIDS Day

Jo Swinson in Parliament Square for World AIDS Day (photo by Anne-Marie Briscombe)

G8 leaders pledged action on tackling HIV and AIDS at Gleneagles in 2005

Jo Swinson has marked World AIDS Day by joining a coalition of charities in Parliament Square calling on the Government to strengthen its efforts to tackle HIV and AIDS.

Jo has pledged support for the Stop AIDS Campaign – a coalition of over 80 UK-based NGOs – and has written to Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander on the issue.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Today, over 70% of people with HIV do not have access to the drugs they need to stay alive, while over 80% have no access to basic prevention services. As a result almost 6000 people die every day from AIDS-related illnesses.

“The Government is preparing to launch a new three-year strategy to tackle HIV and AIDS. Many people, myself included, will be watching to see if Ministers stick to the promises that were made by G8 leaders at Gleneagles in 2005, to achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services by 2010.

“The Stop AIDS Campaign is calling for £2.5bn from the Government over the next three years to be spent on tackling HIV and AIDS, as well as action to reduce the prices of HIV medicines and address the global shortage of health workers.”

Steve Cockburn, Campaign Coordinator for the Stop AIDS Campaign said:

“AIDS is the leading cause of death in Africa so requires strong action from the Government to keep the promises they have made and give people the means to stay alive. They’ve promised action, and now they need to deliver it. The support of MPs is in making sure this happens is absolutely crucial, and will be very much welcomed by communities everywhere.”

In 2007, over 33 million people are living with HIV and AIDS worldwide, and over 2 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses. It is the largest cause of death in Africa.

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