Live and let live
Bryony Whipp looks at HIV and AIDS in the United Kingdom and challenges the stigma that surrounds the disease
No one disputes that HIV and AIDS are a huge global crisis, and no one would deny the need for scaled up international action. The HIV and AIDS situation in the United Kingdom is, however, less clear. The number of people with the disease is substantially less than in sub-Saharan Africa but is far from insignificant. With, according to the National AIDS trust, almost 50 000 people diagnosed as having HIV in the UK; we must take the virus seriously.
More consideration is given to HIV in its global context, rather than nationally. Why is this? It is likely that the media prefer a negative picture of mass suffering to an image of people with HIV leading healthy active lives. It is also possible that fear of HIV makes us as a nation distance the effects of the pandemic. The infection becomes something that happens to them and not to