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Barking and Dagenham renews commitment to prevention on World Aids Day 2018

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 December 2018

Barking and Dagenham Council will carry on paying into a London-wide fund to stop the increase of HIV. Photo: Ken Mears

Barking and Dagenham Council will carry on paying into a London-wide fund to stop the increase of HIV. Photo: Ken Mears

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The council has marked World Aids Day by renewing a commitment to supporting people with HIV and Aids.

Cllr Maureen Worby. Picture: LBBDCllr Maureen Worby. Picture: LBBD

Barking and Dagenham Council has pledged to continue its support to end new infections of the virus which can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) weakening the immune system allowing life-threatening infections and cancers.

The council has agreed to continue funding the £1million a year London HIV Prevention Programme (LHPP) set up in 2014 to reverse increasing rates in the capital.

LHPP oversees the handing out of free condoms, services for people most at risk of infection and an awareness raising campaign.

Cllr Maureen Worby, Cabinet member for social care and health, said: “We’ve seen the LHPP make a significant difference to combating HIV, and we’ll continue to support such effective programmes.

Ray Puddifoot. Picture: LONDON COUNCILSRay Puddifoot. Picture: LONDON COUNCILS

“However, it’s essential that we continue to promote safe sex and good sexual health, as well as educating our residents what it means to have HIV in 2018 not only in Barking and Dagenham but around the world.

“World Aids Day plays a pivotal role in raising awareness and the borough has always played, and will continue to play, a big role in pledging its support.”

Boroughs have promised funding until 2022. They contribute according to the levels of HIV and Aids in their areas.

Ray Puddifoot from London Councils, which set up the programme, said: “I am immensely proud that borough leaders have agreed to continue working collaboratively through the LHPP.

Paul Steinberg. Picture: CAROLINE TEOPaul Steinberg. Picture: CAROLINE TEO

“Through pooling resources, boroughs are making a real difference in promoting Londoners’ health and wellbeing.”

The aim in London is to see no new transmissions, no deaths and an end to the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS by 2030.

LHPP’s Paul Steinberg said: “London is now a world leader in HIV prevention. The boroughs’ commitment to working together on sexual health has been a key part of the capital’s impressive progress in reducing HIV rates.

“However, HIV remains a major public health challenge. The capital is home to an estimated 39,000 people living with the condition, of which an estimated 2,000 people remain undiagnosed.

“As we mark World AIDS Day, we remain as committed as ever to raising awareness, improving public health outcomes, and leading the way towards ending HIV altogether.”

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