Annie Lennox helps City Hall fight AIDS and HIV stigma

MUSICIAN and campaigner Annie Lennox met the Mayor of London s health adviser yesterday in a roundtable discussion with HIV and AIDS campaigners and organisations. The first to have taken place since Annie Lennox s appointment as the Mayor s unpaid London

MUSICIAN and campaigner Annie Lennox met the Mayor of London's health adviser yesterday in a roundtable discussion with HIV and AIDS campaigners and organisations.

The first to have taken place since Annie Lennox's appointment as the Mayor's unpaid London Ambassador for HIV, the aim of the roundtable was to begin developing a programme of activity to tackle the challenges faced by people affected by HIV.

Key issues they discussed were the promotion of positive attitudes towards sexual health amongst young people and the impact of stigma on whether individuals get tested or seek treatment.

Annie Lennox said: "Even in this day and age and with the treatments that are available, stigma remains a serious problem.


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"Many people are simply too scared to seek advice, get tested or disclose their status. I am especially concerned about how it impacts on women, young people, as well as minority communities, who may be more vulnerable and not have access to networks of support.

"It's not only distressing for those immediately affected, it increases the potential for onward transmission and for other health problems."

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More than 40,000 people are estimated to be living with HIV in the capital, 27 per cent of them undiagnosed.

Health adviser to the Mayor Pam Chesters said: "With the majority of people living with HIV in the UK being in London, many of them undiagnosed, the Mayor wants to identify ways to address what is still a serious health and social issue as part of our overall plan to tackle health inequalities in the capital."

Representatives from organisations, including Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust, African HIV Policy Network and Body & Soul were at yesterday's discussion.

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