Whilst Scotland has reached the UNAIDS targets of 90-90-90, we know that there is still much work to do. We have all the tools to prevent every new HIV transmission in Scotland, and as such, each new transmission must be considered a major incident. This means investigating where prevention tools could have been implemented, learning and improving our interventions. 

With effective treatments, HIV is a long-term manageable condition, but people who are diagnosed late have an increased chance of long-term health problems related to late diagnosis. We have seen a drop in the late diagnoses rate, which is welcome, but we must continue to improve access to testing for anyone vulnerable to HIV to ensure they can access treatment as soon as possible. Too many people are being hospitalised with HIV due to late diagnosis. 

The new report highlights the continuing outbreak of HIV among people who inject drugs in Glasgow, and reminds us of the importance of action in this area. There is no singular solution, but a plan that includes a Safer Drug Consumption Room, continued education, and increased testing through outreach services is one that could stem and prevent this outbreak. 

A concerning statistic in the report is the number of young people who are not attending services to access treatment. This highlights the impact of stigma and the need for education in schools to combat myths and misconceptions about HIV. Stigma prevents access to treatment, and a wide-spread public campaign could be the answer to combat it.

Through education and public awareness, we can improve all of Scotland's knowledge about the fact that people living with HIV, on effective treatment with an undetectable viral load, can't pass it on to their sexual partners. That message must be heard by everyone. 

This new report shows that with continued efforts, our plan to get to zero new HIV transmissions is more than achievable.

- Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive