The Welsh Government has announced a 12-week consultation on how the country will end new HIV cases by 2030.
The Government has published a draft HIV Action Plan for achieving the goal with wide-ranging proposals including opt-out HIV testing, an expansion of where HIV prevention pill PrEP is available, and mandatory HIV awareness training for healthcare workers to help tackle the stigma still surrounding the virus.
Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru and Fast Track Cardiff & Vale jointly campaigned for an action plan to be in all party’s manifestos in the run up to the 2021 Senedd elections. Both organisations were they on the government’s Task and Finish group.
The action plan is divided into five key areas:
- Clinical Care
- Living well with HIV
- Tackling HIV-related stigma
There were 48 people newly diagnosed with HIV in Wales and approximately 2,800 people accessed care in Wales for HIV. Wales has seen a significant reduction in new HIV diagnoses in recent year, but more needs to be done in order to reach zero new HIV cases by the end of the decade.
As the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, we have welcomed the consultation and will be encouraging our supporters to respond with their feedback and suggestions.
Our Chief Executive Ian Green said: ‘We have all the tools necessary to end new HIV cases in Wales by 2030 and that’s why we need to urgently utilise all of them in order to do just that. Wales has been a trailblazer in the fight against HIV as shown in its fast action to make prevention drug PrEP available quickly and without a cap.
‘Today we commend the Welsh Government for putting out its ambitious draft plan for consultation and its clear commitment to achieving this life-changing goal.
‘Alongside work to end new HIV cases, we also need to ensure we end the stigma still surrounding the virus. A key part of that is shouting about all the progress that’s been made in this fight, including that someone living with HIV and on effective treatment can’t pass it on.’
Read the draft HIV Action Plan for Wales.