HIV Mural Unveiled for World Aids Day 2023

HIV Mural Unveiled for World Aids Day 2023 Image

A new mural honouring those affected by HIV in Dundee has been unveiled today.

City leaders joined partners and members of the public as part of events in Tayside marking World Aids Day 2023. 

This annual event is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. The day aims to highlight the treatments available, end HIV related stigma, mourn and remember those who we have lost.

Local graffiti artist Paco Graff has been commissioned to redo the mural on hoardings at Slessor Gardens which had been damaged and vandalised. This work has been supported through funding from the Dundee City Council Equalities Fund in partnership with NHS Tayside. 

Red ribbons, one of the prominent features of the artwork, were given out and worn in a show of support.

Also taking place in the city was pop-up HIV testing on The SafeZone Bus on Crichton Street, as well as a quiet space for remembering and an open mic event at St Paul’s Cathedral where members of the public could come along, reflect, sing/hum a song or recite a poem.

This year Dundee committed to ending the transmission of HIV by 2030 by signing the Paris Declaration to become a Fast-Track City. Fast-Track Cities is a partnership of over 400 locations around the world working to eliminate HIV transmission and stigma.

Dundee City Council’s equalities spokesperson Councillor Nadia El-Nakla said: “I was delighted to be able to unveil this wonderful mural that I know will mean so much to so many people in our city. We all have a part to play in tackling the stigma and shame surrounding HIV.

“World Aids Day reminds us of our collective commitment to meet the UNAIDS target of eliminating HIV by 2030. We will work with partners and stakeholders to make sure we achieve our shared goals.” 

Fairness spokesperson Councillor Siobhan Tolland added: “Like many other life-long conditions, HIV is treatable and the events that have taken place today are an important reminder of the huge progress that has been made.

“However, there is still much more to do in helping break down the barriers that prevent people from getting tested and disclosing their status to loved ones. Stigma is one of the biggest barriers and can, sadly, prevent people from living the full and enriched lives they deserve. Days like today can help enormously in removing this.”

NHS Tayside Director of Public Health Dr Emma Fletcher said: “The treatment we can offer to people living with HIV nowadays is highly effective, enabling people to live full and healthy lives and preventing new infections.  

“We would strongly encourage anyone who would like to get tested for HIV to do so without hesitation. The NHS Tayside sexual health team can provide any additional information or support that would be of help to you, friends or family.” 

NHS Tayside Clinical Lead HIV Dr Sarah Allstaff added: “I would ask that, this World AIDS Day, please wear a red ribbon to stand with us in solidarity with people living with HIV, to stand up against stigma and the social injustices which fuel HIV. 

“Let’s acknowledge and celebrate the achievements which have brought us to a place where HIV is on its way out and to fight for a better future, free from stigma, for those living with HIV.”

NHS Tayside sexual health team can be contacted on Triage line: 01382 425542 or via their website. 

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