World AIDS Day: Going to Zero

Today is World AIDS Day, it marks the 30th Anniversary of the first diagnosis in the UK. So how has it been covered by the media and blogs here in the UK.

First up both our local party chair Michael Carchrie Campbell and LGBT+ Lib Dems Coordinator Stephen Glenn marked the event on their own blogs. Our friends at LGBT Greens NI also take a in depth look at the situation worldwide and here in Northern Ireland. Jibber JABer is a blooger I have never met but also blogs about how he came face to face with HIV for the first time, right here in Belfast through the experience of a friend.

Sadly it came on the same day as record number of new diagnosis of people living with HIV was announced though the Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer did mention the fact that there is still stigma attached to those living with HIV. So that is the only coverage that there was in the Belfast Telegraph. However, the Mayor of Newry did find time to release red balloons to mark  the occasion.

On the BBC’s local politics show Hearts and Minds going out tonight on World AIDS Day there is a four party panel debate. Of the four parties represented only Mitchel McLaughlin of Sinn Féin is wearing a red ribbon. Early last month you couldn’t have seen anyone on BBC Northern Ireland or UTV not wearing red in the form of a poppy. Maybe the lack of positive coverage of the going to zero focus for World AIDS Day from 2011-2015 in Northern Ireland is a sign of a deeper malaise that it doesn’t affect us, but as was pointed out by Edwin Poots earlier there are 470 individuals living with HIV in Northern Ireland as are their partners, family and friends.


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