When it’s personal, remembrance has a poignant sting. But without a shared sense of urgency, public memory can fade. Tomorrow marks World Aids Day, traditionally a time to remember the tragic human cost of HIV and Aids. While a hard core of activism still strives for progress against HIV, the urgent life-or-death battle that spurred on the advances of past decades is no more.
At the organisation I lead, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), we seek to shape the future of society through ideas and action. In speaking with medics and those living with HIV, it is clear that progress against the epidemic must not stall — not just for the people affected but for us all.
With HIV, the challenges of our ageing population are amplified. People with HIV face health conditions usually associated with ageing, but sooner, such as heart problems, diabetes, mental health and more. We can overcome the greatest challenges presented by HIV and take these approaches to many more health conditions.
Breakthroughs in HIV bring more than medical progress — the complexities of HIV are social and cultural too. And here in London we are well positioned to act as a beacon for the rest of the world. The UK is exceeding each of the three UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets, set to help end the global Aids epidemic. Read more