Ruffley calls on Suffolk residents to give their backing to World AIDS day

Thursday, 30 November, 2006

David Ruffley MP, the Shadow Minister for Welfare Reform, has today called on the residents of Suffolk and the East of England to show their support for World AIDS day on 1 December 2006.

Around 40 million people are living with HIV throughout the world - and that number increases in every region every day.

In the UK alone, more than 60,000 people are living with HIV and more than 7,000 more are diagnosed every year.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

David said:

'World AIDS day is an incredibly important event. Approximately 40 million people across the world are living with HIV but only 1.3 million of those have access to treatment.

'In the UK alone there are more than 60,000 people with HIV and a further 7,000 are diagnosed every year.

'I hope that as many of my constituents as possible feel they are able to support World AIDS day and wear a red ribbon to show their support.

'One of the best ways to tackle this disease is to talk openly about it and eradicate the prejudices that exist in our society.

'HIV has become a stigmatised disease. Every day someone with HIV experiences discrimination at work, in healthcare and among family and friends. Stigma discourages people from testing for HIV or disclosing their status to their partner, which in turn fuels the spread of the disease.

'There are a number of events taking place across the region on or around World AIDS day and I hope that the people of Suffolk can find the time to support this most worthwhile cause.'