Berwick Border bridge to be lit up red for World AIDS Day
30 Nov 2021 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
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 association with the red ribbon, which is often worn as a sign of support for those who have been affected by HIV.
Every week 80 people are diagnosed with HIV in the UK. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people across the globe to unite in the fight against HIV, reflect on the medical progress that has been made, show their support for people living with the illness and to commemorate people who have died.
Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health at Northumberland County Council, said: “It is really important to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and the treatments that are available in Northumberland.
“Treatment and management of HIV has come on significantly in recent years with game changing drugs such as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis, a treatment that can help stop HIV infection after the virus has entered a person’s body if taken within 72 hours of exposure) and PrEP (a medicine people at risk of HIV take to prevent them getting HIV) now freely available in all Sexual Health Services.
“We now have the tools to end HIV transmission but there is still a lot of ignorance and misinformation about HIV. World Aids Day is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and provide people with prevention information and advice, and effective treatment to stop HIV in its tracks."
Northumberland County Councillor Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for adult wellbeing 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.
“We’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be at risk of HIV to get themselves checked out straight away and engage with our local sexual health services around the range of prevention measures now available for free. 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.”
To support ending HIV transmission in Northumberland, the County Council is seeking people's views on HIV Testing and PrEP access here
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
The sexual health services are being reviewed and a survey allows people to contribute here