Today's, it's less HIV and more HIV-related stigma that's the killer. Stigma brings people to my clinic who have been living with HIV for too long before diagnosis. And they haven't been diagnosed because they are scared, ignorant or isolated.
This week is National HIV Testing Week, leading up to World AIDS Day 2013 on 1st December. The question is, how many of you were aware of this - and what can we do to enhance that awareness? For too long, educational messages about HIV/AIDS, and about the way it is transmitted and prevented, have not been heard.
Around one in five people living with HIV in the UK are unaware they have the virus, figures show. Some 21,900 people out
Walking into the room, I saw eight people - predominantly doctors - and I could tell that at least five had already made up their minds to reject the project. It started predictably: "Well, we have spent a lot of time discussing this very interesting project, but have some significant concerns." That was why I was there - to allay their fears and get on with this important project. That was not to be.
We are doctors. We do health. We do not have armies of lawyers and specialists in tendering and procurement at our disposal. We would rather invest in nurses, dieticians and pharmacists - and I would rather see patients than have to fight for the survival of our HIV service.
Legal in the US for some time now, the self-test kit has been a focus of some controversy in the UK, and has been illegal for many years. You are, though, allowed to sample your own blood at home, and then send it off to an accredited laboratory (privately, of course).