No new HIV infections in England by 2030, Health Secretary to pledge

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will pledge to eliminate HIV transmissions in England by 2030.

Mr Hancock will make the commitment at the Elton John Aids Foundation, Evening Standard and Independent's Aidsfree Cities Global Forum on Wednesday.

He is expected to set a new goal that within the next decade there will be "no new infections", making England "one of the first countries" to reach the UN zero infections target by 2030.

"My generation grew up knowing Aids was a potential death sentence," he will say.

"That doesn't have to be the case any more. Thanks to medical breakthroughs, public health campaigns, breaking down stigma and better education, Aids is no longer a death sentence here.

"I feel proud that Britain has made such progress."

He will add: "So today we're setting a new goal - eradicating HIV transmission in England by 2030.

"No new infections within the next decade - becoming one of the first countries to reach the UN zero infections target by 2030.

"From the ultra local to the truly global. That's the approach we must take to eliminate Aids."

Mr Hancock said he felt angry the progress seen in England was not reflected around the world.

The Department of Health and Social Care said an expert group will develop an action plan for the future.

Today's commitment is a seminal moment in the fight to end new HIV transmissions in England. We now have the tools to end HIV transmissions. Through regular HIV testing, condom use, access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), prevention information and advice, and effective treatment which means people living with HIV cannot pass on the virus, we can stop HIV in its tracks.

– IAN GREEN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST

He said the most pressing issues towards zero HIV transmissions were increasing testing to ensure anyone who was undiagnosed could start treatment, adding places to PrEP trials and ensuring sexual health services are "properly funded".

"The clock has now started ticking towards the end of HIV transmissions in England," Mr Green said.

"Today's commitment demonstrates that the Government has listened to our demand for a bold vision on HIV.

"Now it must act upon our call to ensure services and interventions are urgently put in place to ensure that by 2030 this pledge is made a reality."

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