Bridge turning red for World AIDS Day

The Royal Border Bridge in Berwick is to be lit up red on December 1 to mark World AIDS Day and remind residents that HIV and AIDS have not gone away.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 1:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 10:21 am
Royal Border Bridge by David Sanderson

In 2015 there were 122 people newly diagnosed with HIV in the north east, bringing the total to 1,696 of people receiving treatment for HIV in the region. Nationally, in 2015, an estimated 88,769 people were living with HIV in the UK.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people across the globe to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with the illness and to commemorate people who have died.

The railway viaduct is just one of the iconic landmarks across the north east to be lit up to help promote awareness of the ongoing fight against the AIDS epidemic. The red colour is associated with the red ribbon, often worn as a sign of support for those who have been affected by HIV.

Cllr Susan Dungworth, member for public health at Northumberland County Council, said: “Testing and early diagnosis, leading to early treatment, gives people the best chance of living a healthy life, for longer, and also reduces the risk of passing on the infection to someone else unknowingly.”

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“We’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be at risk of HIV to get themselves checked out straight away. It can be done very discreetly by order a home testing kit on line. Alternatively you can get access to a full sexual health check-up, which will look for other STIs as well as HIV, through your local sexual health service or your GP. All these services are free.”