World AIDS Day 2020

The 1st of December every year is World AIDS Day, which is an awareness campaign that was founded in 1988 and was the first global health day.

World AIDS Day looks to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, support those living with HIV and commemorate those who have passed away from AIDS-related illnesses.

What are HIV and AIDS?

Both HIV and AIDS can have a long term impact on an individual’s life and the level of care and support varies from person to person, depending upon diagnosis and treatment. Treatment following a diagnosis will require a lifetime of medication for that individual in order to protect their immune system and fight infections.

HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus and affects the immune system, slowly destroying it. AIDS is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and a diagnosis of AIDS comes when someone has an immune system that has been severely damaged by HIV. Unfortunately there is no cure for HIV.

There are around 105,200 people living with HIV in the UK and even though the virus was only identified in 1984, over 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS since.

The World AIDS Day campaign

The HIV Commission has recently published its recommendations for how new HIV cases can be ended in England by 2030. One of the key points of the report concerns testing and calls for the Government to implement changes to testing and for there to be comprehensive HIV testing for everyone, not just those deemed to be most affected. Testing also needs to be across the whole healthcare system so that HIV screening is offered anytime someone is offered a blood test, at a cervical screening for example.

This will make HIV testing more routine and therefore normalise the disease and remove the stigma, whilst also meaning people can be treated and be aware of their HIV status.

As part of the 2020 campaign, you can support the charities involved and those living with HIV and AIDS by purchasing and wearing the red ribbon and #RockTheRibbon.

Regrettably, HIV and AIDS are conditions that are known to cause the deaths of many people every year. Generally, unless you are considered to be in one of the high risk groups, it is difficult to detect HIV and AIDS early enough so that the conditions can be managed.

Negligence claims relating to HIV and AIDS

Clinical negligence claims relating to HIV and AIDS can arise as a result of late diagnosis of the condition, which impacts the efficacy of treatment and ultimately an individual’s life expectancy. Conversely, diagnoses of HIV and AIDS are made when individuals do not have this condition and this incorrect diagnosis can have a massive psychological impact.

World AIDS Day

How can Nelsons help?

Kate Harrison is an Associate in our Medical Negligence team.

If you would like any advice in relation to the subjects discussed in this article, please contact Kate or another member of the team, which has been ranked in tier one by the independently research, Legal 500, on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.