HIV/Aids Fears after Cutbacks; POLITICS

The Birmingham Post (England), May 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

HIV/Aids Fears after Cutbacks; POLITICS


The number of people with HIV is set to reach 100,000 in Britain, a Birmingham peer has warned.

Lord Fowler, the former MP for Sutton Coldfield who served as Health Secretary under Margaret Thatcher, said the number of people treated for HIV tripled in ten years.

And he warned campaigns to reduce the spread of infection had been cut because of NHS financial deficits.

Lord Fowler oversaw a controversial advertising campaign in the 1980s which warned about AIDS, the disease caused by HIV.

But he warned Britain had one of the highest rates of infection in Europe, when he spoke in the House of Lords.

Cutting services for people with HIV was an easy option for health managers, he said.

"It will not produce the same public outcry as cutting some of the more popular medical services. There will be no demonstrations of patients.

"But we should be under no illusion because greater pressure will result on already overstretched services, infection will spread as patients remain untreated and the eventual cost to the health service will be much greater. …

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