Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has called for an end to discrimination against people living with HIV.
Speaking out on the eve of World Aids Day, on Sunday 1 December, Tony Lloyd said agencies and communities need to support those living with HIV and encourage them to come forward if they have been a victim of hate crime.
“As a society we have come on leaps and bounds in how we treat people living with HIV, but sadly many still suffer from stigma and discrimination. This is unacceptable – it has no place in our communities and causes untold misery to those who are already going through a difficult time. This virus does not discriminate and neither should society,” said Tony.
“All agencies, including local authorities, police and NHS, have a responsibility to support and help those living with HIV – and challenge discrimination. I would urge anyone living with HIV who has been a victim of a hate crime to come forward and report it – and have the confidence you will be listened to and that action will be taken.”
Tony and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle are attending the candlelit procession and vigil at Sackville Gardens at 6.15pm on Sunday 1 December.
Tony is also part of the Manchester World AIDS Day Partnership which works to raise awareness of HIV, challenge HIV stigma and promote HIV testing and prevention. The partnership will be marking World AIDS Day with a number activities across the city to raise awareness of HIV and remember those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.
The partnership is made up of the BHA, Brook Manchester, George House Trust, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, Manchester City Council and the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.
Information and support for those living with or affected by HIV is available at www.ght.org.uk.
To report a hate crime contact the police on 101 or dial 999 where there’s a threat to life or a crime in progress. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or you can report it online at www.report-it.org.uk/home.
You can also report hate crime at a third party reporting centre. These are independent, non-police centres that allow you to report incidents in complete confidence. If you’d rather not talk to anyone you can use a ‘self-reporting’ pack. Find a third party reporting centre in your area here.