More than two dozen HIV organisations and charities are partnering to hold a march, vigil and rally in order to fight stigma.
Set to take place in London on Saturday 18 March, people will begin gathering at Forum Magnum Square, 1A Belvedere Road, SE1 7GB from 12pm.
The march will begin at 1pm sharp and will go across Westminster Bridge, past Downing Street and finish at Trafalgar Square.
In Trafalgar Square there will be a short vigil and rally, which is expected to be completed by 3pm.
The event will be an inclusive space that is open to people living with HIV, as well as allies to those who are.
Confirmed speakers so far include Ian Green of Terrence Higgins Trust, Michelle Bockor of Positively UK, Ese Johnson of Waverley Care and Rev Ije Ajibade of Southwark Cathedral, among others.
Those wishing to attend are advised not to bring candles to the vigil as these are not allowed in Trafalgar Square.
We’ve made remarkable progress around HIV – but stigma continues to hold us back.
It’s seen on dating apps, experienced at the dentist, or when HIV is the punchline in a joke. We cannot let this stand.
Take to the streets to march against stigma on Saturday 22 March⬇️
— Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) January 5, 2023
According to the most recent estimates, 106,890 people were believed to be living with HIV in the UK in 2019 – 5,150 of which are believed to be undiagnosed.
However, new diagnoses have been declining since their peak in 2005, with the government sharing its plan to reach zero new cases by 2030 on World AIDS Day in 2021.
The UK has one of the biggest decreases in new HIV diagnoses worldwide, with the government reporting a 35% reduction in new diagnoses in England between 2014 and 2019.
More than half of women living with the virus in the UK have experienced violence because of their HIV status, according to Terrence Higgins Trust.
Just three in 10 members of the British public say they would feel comfortable going on a date with someone who is HIV positive, with the vast majority saying that they would not have sexual intercourse with someone who is on effective treatment.
The full list of organisations taking part in the march, vigil and rally can be found below:
- African Health Policy Network
- BHA for Equality
- Fast Track Cardiff and Vale
- George House Trust
- LGBT Foundation
- LGBT HERO
- Love Tank
- Medway Pride
- Metro Mildmay Mission Hospital
- National AIDS Map
- National AIDS Trust
- NAZ Project
- One Voice Network
- Plus Health
- Positive East
- Positively UK
- Sickle Cell Society
- Sophia Forum
- Spectra London
- Sussex Beacon
- Terrence Higgins Trust
- Trade Sexual Health
- Unison South East and London
- Wandsworth OASIS
- Waverley Care
- Yorkshire MESMAC