In the run up to World AIDS Day, there has been lots of reflection on the rise of HIV/AIDS and a focus on managing these health issues moving forward.

UK politicians discussed the issue in parliament, which brought with it a remarkable first for the House of Commons. Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle revealed to the House of Commons that he is HIV-positive, making him the first sitting MP to do so.

Following the announcement, Russell-Moyle has been inundated with supportive messages. He took a moment to thank his well wishers on Twitter.

But not all of the MP's responses to well wishes were so rosy. When former health secretary Jeremy Hunt sent the Brighton MP his "respect", he was quick to fire back.

Russell-Moyle is referencing NHS England's handling of the free PrEP trial. PrEP is medication that stops people from contracting HIV if having condomless sex, and therefore prevents the virus from being passed on. The free trial, which NHS Enlgand fought in court, has had a dramatic effect on HIV transmission rates.

Hunt's tenure as health secretary was blighted by criticism and major concerns as health services, including those affecting people with HIV, struggled to deliver services in the face of dramatic spending cuts.

Though Russell-Moyle's announcement comes as the UK reached a major HIV-related target. The target for 2020 is to ensure that 90 per cent of people with HIV are diagnosed and are receiving treatment. Statistics released by Public Health England show that the UK reached the target last year, with levels of 92 per cent and 98 per cent respectively.

So beyond the realms of Westminster and Twitter, there's much to be optimistic about in the fight against HIV.
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