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We must end HIV stigma. There’s no better place to start than with public bodies like the police force. Our police have a duty to stay educated about HIV – to know how it is and isn’t passed on, to spot HIV-related harassment, to know that there’s nothing criminal about living with HIV. But too often police forces have failed in this duty, with stigmatising and dehumanising behaviour still commonly reported, and unfounded fears around HIV rife among officers.
Change must come from within the police service and our new report outlines how police in Merseyside and Avon & Somerset have been working with local community organisations Sahir House and Brigstowe to address the issues in their force.
But we need to go further and get police forces up and down the country to take on the learning from these cases and act now. We need local and national leadership that bolsters the actions of those police trying to change things. That’s where you come in.
We need MPs to know about this report and to raise this issue with the Chief Constable of their local police force and ask them what they are doing to address HIV stigma in their service. Write to your MP today.