In David Cameron's back yard, Oxfordshire County Council has cut Terrence Higgins Trust's £50,000 funding, which is forcing the closure of its local centre. The reality is that there are will be no HIV Prevention and Support service in the whole county after April 2016, with almost 500 people left with no alternative support service.
We are fortunate that for the most part, World AIDS Day is no longer about life or death but it is about realising our next challenge. A challenge that utilises education to both inform wider society people about the virus but also to empower people to make informed choices about sex so we can end future transmissions of HIV, forever.
In the 30 years I've had HIV, I never expected to feel sorry, tender even, for a Hollywood actor, let alone Charlie Sheen: wanting to give this hot man-mess a hug, clap him on the back, spur him on to sober up and start living with HIV rather than dying from the shame of it. I really hope Charlie's self-outing as HIV positive does mark his final emergence from whatever swamp of chaos he's been floundering in this last five years.
We can achieve it by testing, so as to minimise the number of guys who don't think they have HIV, but do. We can achieve it by maximising viral suppression and getting as many HIV+ guys on treatment as possible. We can achieve it by using PrEP, not just because it works, but also to take the anxiety and rabbit-in-headlights paralysis out of gay dating.
There have long been significant and valid concerns that simply popping a testing kit in the post to an individual who may be vulnerable - and a positive HIV result can make anyone feel worried, to say the least - is not providing the support and care for which UK HIV clinics have rightly become world-renowned.
The awareness-raising we and many others have been doing this week is truly crucial in the fight against HIV: because the stigma that surrounds the infection, and that at least one of our celebrity ambassadors has noticed on social media in this last week, drives a reluctance to test which actively promotes the continued spread of HIV.
I think we as gay men are uniquely vulnerable to this virus. If you accept that gay men aren't just going to stop having anal sex overnight, then you have to accept that we have the kind of sex that is 18 times better at transmitting HIV than the sex heterosexuals have, and that means we are 50-100x more likely, in most places in the world other than parts of Africa, to meet a positive partner.
I will keep saying it until I'm blue in the face: new HIV Infections have almost doubled amongst 15-24 year olds. I read my briefing over breakfast this morning and I cannot quite describe the feeling in my stomach. How can we, how can I allow this to happen, and how did these data slip out and go largely unreported this week?