Brighton MP addresses conference on HIV and Aids

Posted On 01 Oct 2010 at 10:40 am

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby has urged ministers to protect a specific grant intended to stem the spread of HIV and Aids.

Mr Kirby spoke to the National African HIV Prevention Conference in Central London and told them about the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV/Aids.

He said that the group had written to the Public Health Minister Anne Milton, a fellow Conservative.

The group called for the former AIDS Support Grant remains as a named grant to councils.

It said that HIV was a stigmatised condition, making the grant particularly vulnerable to local cuts.

It was, the group said, also hard to mobilise patients to speak out publicly about their needs.

It added that many HIV positive people are already stigmatised because of their race or sexuality.

Mr Kirby attended the conference in his role as vice-chairman of the all party group.

Afterwards he said: “I felt honoured to be invited to make the keynote speech at this event and I was pleased to be able to talk about the need to maintain the AIDS Support Grant.

“I was pleased to note that in the recent ‘in year’ savings programme that Brighton and Hove City Council had to implement, the AIDS Support Grant was maintained even though its ‘ringfenced’ status was removed and so it did not become part of the savings.

“I also mentioned that the APPG are lobbying for the inclusion of sexual health and HIV as an important national public health priority within the Public Health White Paper.

“We want the delivery of national programmes to help increase knowledge and improve safer behaviour among young people, gay men, African communities and people living with HIV.”

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