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

20 Nov 2017

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.

The red colour has been chosen for its associated with the red ribbon  which is often worn as a sign of support for those who have been affected by  HIV.

In 2016 there were 135 people newly diagnosed with  HIV in the North East and of these  40% were heterosexual.  Nationally over the same period there were  5,164 people newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK.  Most people recently diagnosed with HIV are between 25-49 years of age.
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 viaduct  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.
Northumberland County Councillor Veronica Jones, cabinet member with responsibility for public health said:  

“ Testing and early diagnosis and therefore 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. At present almost 50 per cent of cases in the north east are diagnosed late.
 
“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 ordering a home testing kit online or   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
Or to find out more  about the Northumberland Sexual Health service visit  www.northumbria.nhs.uk/sexual-health-services