Today marks World AIDS Day; a day dedicated to uniting the world in showing support for people living with HIV, and remembering those who have lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses. World AIDS Day is a global movement, which initially began 35 years ago. Since then, communities have stood together every year to honour the lives affected by the epidemic and raise awareness across the globe.
Not only is this a day of mourning, but it’s also a day to celebrate how far we have come, with charities such as Waverley Care growing awareness, combating stigma and helping those who have been impacted. HIV is no longer the death sentence it was back in the 1980s, but through medical advancements people living with HIV in the UK can expect to live long and healthy lives. Public Health Scotland published data in December 2021, which showed that 94% of people who have HIV and are on antiretroviral therapy have achieved an undetectable viral load (this can take up to six months after HIV treatment has started).
However, even with these major advancements, health inequalities, stigma and discrimination are still prevalent today. That’s why charities like Waverley Care are so important to spread awareness, encourage people to get tested and debunk myths surrounding HIV. Waverley Care’s vision is a Scotland where no one faces HIV alone, and it is currently supporting the government and campaigning to reach zero new HIV transmissions by 2030 – a goal set out by the Scottish government in 2020.
Billy Burnside, Managing Director of Criterion, commented:
Criterion is proud to have partnered with Waverley Care for the last four years, and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership and supporting it on its journey to reaching zero new transmissions by 2030. The company has raised almost £30,000 for Waverley Care over the last few years, which for such a small company is incredible and reflective of how passionate we are about this cause.
We are joining people around the globe to shine a light on today’s realities of HIV, and what can be done to reduce transmissions and support people living with HIV. For more information, please visit www.waverleycare.org.uk.