HIV has not gone away. In the UK there are over 100,000 people living with HIV, of whom 77,610 have been diagnosed and are accessing care. 21,900 people in the UK are HIV positive without realising it. In the South West, there is less HIV than in some of the larger cities, but that does not mean the South West is HIV free. HIV is definitely present in the Westcountry.

The issues faced by people living with HIV in mixed rural and urban areas include increased isolation, stigma and often more widely, denial that HIV is an issue for any men, women and children living in this area.

All of us in the South West need to know the facts and take good care of our health.