Raising the issue of HIV in Northern Ireland isn’t an easy one. Many often put their heads in the sand when asks are made or support is required. We have to fight an uphill battle to have our voice heard, especially in the noisy health environment were other issues get more attention.
This year we have made a conscious effort to ensure that there is a sustained effort to put HIV on the agenda of the media and the elected representatives, so that our voice does get heard. The rising number of people with HIV here is a worrying trend and we all need to work harder collectively to address and arrest the growing trend and provide more support for those who have been diagnosed, and are living with or affected by HIV in Northern Ireland.
Today, for the first time, a motion which calls for support for those living with HIV and our work at Positive Life will be debated at length. This is a mighty step forward in elevating the issue with those who make our laws and deliver policy. The debate kicks off at 12.30pm and can be watched live on the NI Assembly website. We would encourage as many people as possible to listen and show their support on social media.
The motion has been tabled by the DUP’s Health Committee Chair, Paula Bradley MLA, Gary Middleton MLA and Trevor Clarke MLA and other members of the Health Committee from across all the parties are expected to contribute. We welcome and support the debate which is an important part of our lobbying work in the lead up to World AIDS day this Thursday.