Terrence Higgins Trust responds to Tory commitments to ending new HIV cases by 2030 and justice for those impacted by the Infected Blood Scandal

Graham Robson June 11, 2024

HIV/sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has welcomed today’s Conservative Party’s manifesto, which includes commitments to ending new HIV cases by 2030 and justice for those impacted by the Infected Blood Scandal.

According to Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK is in a position to become the first country to end new HIV cases, and do it by 2030. The charity also stresses that an HIV Action Plan to meet the 2030 goal must be commissioned within the first 100 days of a new government, and published within a year.

Richard Angell, Chief Executive of HIV/sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “With the funding for hospital HIV testing facing a cliff edge in Spring 2025, it is great to see the Conservative manifesto promise continued funding for the highly successful opt-out HIV testing in A&Es that is saving and changing lives.

“This comes alongside a much needed re-affirmation of their commitment to ending new HIV transmissions by 2030 in their manifesto. A renewed HIV Action Plan will be crucial to this.

Richard Angell

“In two years, the opt-out HIV testing in A&Es programme has found more than 5,000 people with HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis in just four cities, and soon 47 more hospitals across England will be testing thanks to an expansion this year. That’s why it’s welcome news that the Conservatives will continue this pioneering programme beyond 2025 if re-elected.”

The Infected Blood Scandal is widely acknowledged as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. As a direct result of clinical decisions and policy made and implemented in the 1970s and early 1980s, it is estimated that over 30,000 people were infected by contaminated blood or blood products in the UK, with over 3,000 people having lost their lives as a result.

Speaking about the Infected Blood Scandal, Angell said: “It is very welcome to see the commitments made by the Prime Minister and Paymaster General to the Infected Blood Community in Parliament included in the Conservative Party manifesto. The election being called so close to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s final report has meant that attention has been drawn away from the plight of the thousands of victims whose lives have been so badly damaged by this scandal.

“The pledges made in today’s manifesto will signal that they have not been forgotten. Victims have waited decades for recognition and redress for the impact of the viruses they contracted as a result of failures by the state. With two victims dying every week, there is no time to lose. The timeline for delivering compensation must be maintained.”