This World AIDS Day, HIV Scotland and Waverley Care are teaming up to launch the Getting to Zero campaign.

We're calling on Members of the Scottish Parliament to commit to action to ensure that Scotland meets global targets to reach zero new HIV transmissions, zero HIV-related deaths, and zero HIV-related stigma by 2030.

Download our campaign briefing here.

With an ongoing outbreak of HIV among people who use drugs in Glasgow, and approximately 2 young people (15-24) being diagnosed with HIV every month in Scotland we need change. These transmissions, as well as every other, are preventable. Given the tools we have, every new transmission should be treated as exceptional, and not the norm. We need political commitment coupled with concrete action to realise the opportunity that we have to eliminate new HIV transmissions.  

Getting to zero can’t be done with words alone. Even though words are important and can change the world, they need to be coupled with action. This World AIDS Day, we are asking MSPs to commit to action on spending for HIV in the Scottish Government’s annual budget, in order to realise the unique opportunity that we have to eliminate new HIV transmissions.  

We’ve got three things that we believe will help Scotland get to zero: 

  • We need time-limited investment in NHS, Local Authority and Health & Social Care Partnership services, ensuring people across Scotland can access testing, treatment, and support. Due to increased pressure on NHS resources, access to prevention & testing has become more difficult. We need to ensure that everyone can access our combination prevention tools to eliminate new HIV transmissions.

  • We need additional investment in the third sector, to allow community organisations to reach people who are often ignored or feel excluded from statutory services. HIV disproportionately affects some of the most marginalised groups in our society. If we are to ensure that people can access prevention, testing, and treatment, then investment will be needed for third-sector, community-based services to reach groups of the population who often feel excluded from services.

  • We need a multi-disciplinary, co-designed public awareness campaign to update the public consciousness about the modern-day realities of HIV, how it is transmitted and how to prevent it. There hasn’t been a public information campaign about HIV since the ’90s in Scotland, and savings from the reduced cost of treatment should be invested to ensure that stigma, myths and misinformation are eradicated.

Committing to these three key actions will ensure that marginalised communities will continue to be represented and reached, that the Scottish public will be more informed about HIV, and that there will be equal and equitable access to HIV testing. Only by achieving these aims can we get to zero by 2030, and we hope that Members of the Scottish Parliament will stand with us to reach this ambitious but achievable aim.