Speaking on World Aids Day Edinburgh East MP Sheila Gilmore has welcomed Shadow International Development Secretary Ivan Lewis MP’s commitment to keep the pressure on the Government to provide leadership in the global fight to tackle HIV and AIDS.
Sheila Gilmore’s comments come in advance of a meeting with Edinburgh University Student Stop Aids campaigners in Edinburgh on Friday 2 December.
Sheila Gilmore MP said:
“Many people in Edinburgh care a great deal about tackling HIV and AIDS and I look forward to meeting student campaigners on Friday.
“I am proud of Labour’s leadership whilst in government to tackle this global scourge and I welcome Ivan’s commitment to do everything he can to ensure the Tory-led Coalition Government continues our work.
“With 34 million people still living with HIV worldwide, action now is vital if we are to make a real difference.
“I am particularly worried that the Global Fund has been forced by limited donations, to freeze its spending until 2014, particularly as this represents around half of the world’s spending on HIV AIDS as well as three-quarters of the efforts to combat malaria and over 80% of the response to TB.
“The international community should come together to get the Global Fund process moving again. No one country can hope to tackle the spread of HIV and AIDS alone but UK leadership is now more important than ever.”
Ivan Lewis MP, Labour’s Shadow International Development Secretary said:
“Despite the progress we have seen, around the world millions of people are living with HIV and almost two million people are still dying from AIDS-related illnesses every year. I am very concerned by the recent news that the lack of support for the Global Fund means it has had to freeze its spending until 2014.
“We urgently need international leadership to champion this cause and ensure that the price of the global financial crisis is not abandon those suffering from HIV AIDS.
“I was very glad to hear of Edinburgh’s continued support for action to tackle HIV and AIDS.  In government, Labour made sure that the UK was at the centre of efforts to tackle HIV and AIDS and we are calling on the Tory-led Government to continue that leadership.”
“I was pleased to have the chance to discuss what Labour can do to drive forward those efforts with Sheila Gilmore MP given her track record as such a tireless campaigner on global poverty and HIV and AIDS, as well as a strong voice for Edinburgh.