HEALTH workers, politicians and campaigners gathered in Sheffield’s Winter Garden to remember the millions of people worldwide who have died from HIV and Aids.
The candlelit vigil to mark World Aids Day was held as new figures show HIV is a growing problem in Sheffield, with an estimated 1,000 people in the city living with the disease, 200 of them undiagnosed.
Health bosses say many people miss out on diagnosis because of the stigma still associated with HIV.
Council leader Julie Dore said: “We are continuing to confront prejudice and stigma around HIV which prevents people from seeking advice and testing for HIV and makes the lives of those with HIV harder.”
Alicia Marcroft, sexual health lead at NHS Sheffield, said: “HIV is an infection which can nowadays be treated. Those diagnosed promptly can expect a life expectancy similar to those without the infection.
“Stigma surrounding HIV and Aids may prevent people accepting the offer of a test or coming forward for a test, even though they may be at risk. Sexual health services in Sheffield are there to help people in an open and supportive environment.”
The number of HIV patients in Sheffield is up from 450 six years ago to nearly 800.