On World AIDS Day, new research conducted for the Global Monitoring Report 'Youth and Skills: Putting education to work' shows the importance of investing in life skills education in school to ensure children have the confidence and negotiating skills to say no to sex and negotiate condom use.
The latest Health Protection Agency (HPA) figures show there were an estimated 3,010 new diagnoses among gay men in 2011 - the highest annual figure since records began. Nearly a quarter of people with HIV (24%) remain unaware of their infection and the proportion of late diagnoses (indicating people have been infected for over five years) remains worryingly high at 47%.
If the bill is passed it's likely to lead to even more HIV infections in politically isolated populations, especially among men who have sex with men. They will be prevented from having access to essential public health information, such as how to protect themselves from HIV and how to access life saving treatment and support services that are stigma-free.
Have you ever been at risk of HIV? Most people think they haven't, and quite a few of you are wrong. In fact, around 25,000 of you in the UK are so wrong that you're walking around with HIV without knowing it. If you're one of those 25,000 (and let's face it, that's much better odds than winning the Lottery, which many of us hope to do) then you are risking your own health and life, and you may well be unwittingly putting others at risk too.