December the 1st is World Aids Day. It's shocking that an estimated 34 million people live with HIV around the world, and more than 35 million have lost their lives to AIDS. This is a time to stand in solidarity with all those affected, but also to reflect on how far we've come.
In Scotland, as with most of the wealthier nations, we have made big advances in the treatment available since the virus was identified in the 80s. People diagnosed with the virus are now able to lead a normal and healthy life. Yet it's still estimated that around 25% of people with HIV remain undiagnosed, and many outdated stereotypes and stigmas still remain. Twice as many people now have the virus in the UK as they did ten years ago.
This shows there remains a need to challenge the outdated myths about HIV and AIDS, get the facts out there and make sure those at risk get tested.