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Thanks to the huge achievements in HIV treatment achieved by the scientific, health care and patient communities, drugs are easier to take and are highly effective at reducing levels of the virus in the body. In fact, they reduce the virus to such low levels that people with HIV who are on effective treatment cannot pass it on through sexual contact with others. HIV drugs are also highly effective at preventing HIV negative people from acquiring the virus. However, efforts to ensure that people with HIV know their status and can access care, and efforts to ensure all people at risk of HIV have access to prevention tools, are still undermined by stigma and discrimination related to HIV, and facing the communities most affected by HIV. We need public attitudes to catch up with the science and move towards a stigma free future!
Laura Waters, Consultant GU/HIV Medicine, HIV & hepatitis lead CNWL, Mortimer Market Centre and Chair of British HIV Association