Berwick Border bridge to be lit up red for World AIDS Day

21 Nov 2016

The Royal  Border Bridge in Berwick is to be lit up red on December 1  to mark World AIDS Day and remind the county that HIV and AIDS have not gone away.

In 2015 there were 122  people newly diagnosed with HIV in the North East, bringing the total to 1,696 of people receiving treatment for HIV in the region. Nationally, in 2015, an estimated 88,769 people were living with HIV in the UK.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people across the globe  to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with the illness and to commemorate people who have died.

The  Grade 1 listed railway viadauct  which spans the River Tweed , is  just one of the iconic  buildings and  landmarks across the north east  to be lit up  red to help promote awareness of the ongoing fight against the AIDS epidemic. The red colour is associated with the red ribbon  which is often worn as a sign of support for those who have been affected by  HIV.

Northumberland County Councillor Susan Dungworth, cabinet member for public health said:  

“ Testing and early diagnosis, leading to early treatment, gives people the best chance of living a healthy life, for longer, and also reduces the risk of passing on the infection to someone else unknowingly.”
 
“We’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be at risk of HIV to get themselves checked out straight away.  It can be done very  discreetly by order a home testing kit on line. Alternatively you can get  access to a full sexual health check-up, which will look for other STIs as well as HIV, through your local sexual health service or your GP.   All of these services are free and confidential.”
 
You can order a home testing kit from www.freetesting.hiv