SIGN OUR PETITION CALLING ON THE ASSEMBLY TO DELIVER A SEXUAL HEALTH PROMOTION STRATEGY
We are calling on the Assembly to support a Sexual Health Promotion Strategy, focusing on awareness raising and education.
To show you support, sign our petition here: https://www.change.org/p/ni-assembly-support-positive-life-in-bringing-forward-a-sexual-health-promotion-strategy-in-ni
The key components we would like this new Sexual Health Promotion Strategy to accomplish are:
– An effective public awareness campaign in an effort to tackle to the misconceptions around HIV amongst people in NI
– Introduction of Sexual Health as an official subject on the NI curriculum across all second level schools
Research revealed today, indicates there are now 934 people living with HIV in Northern Ireland, an increase of 15% on last year’s 809 figure – indicating the urgency for Assembly support. Along with the increase in new HIV diagnosis in general, there is also a trend of late diagnoses, signalling that people in Northern Ireland are not regularly testing for HIV.
People living with HIV continue to face hugely stigmatising attitudes, many of which are exacerbated in Northern Ireland. A recent survey indicates that of those living with HIV in NI, 61% feel ashamed of their diagnosis, compared to 49% elsewhere in the UK. The same survey revealed that 68% of people in NI, diagnosed with HIV, have a negative self-image, compared to 56% elsewhere in the UK.
Our CEO, Jacquie Richardson commented; ‘It’s becoming increasingly urgent that Government delivers an official Sexual Health Promotion Strategy. The statistics on HIV in Northern Ireland are alarming, diagnoses are on the rise year on year and those living with HIV face hugely stigmatising attitudes. We are calling on Government not just to support those living with HIV but also to prioritise for the future by protecting and educating those at risk.’
‘‘The average lifetime cost for treating one HIV infection in the UK is almost £380,000 and we need to remember that HIV is an entirely preventable condition. I hope that Northern Ireland will get behind our effort by signing our petition.’ she added.
Positive Life’s objective is to encourage the Assembly to plan ahead. HIV is a condition that potentially affects anyone who will engage in sexual activity during their lives. Should an official strategy not be implemented, it is likely that current trends in HIV will remain.
For more information on our petition or HIV in Northern Ireland call our office on 028 9024 9268.