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