Local SNP MSP Tom Arthur has highlighted the importance of a project focusing on people ageing with HIV.

There are approximately 5,900 people currently living with HIV in Scotland and it is estimated that 50% will be over the age of 50 by 2030. HIV Scotland’s Living Well: 50+ project aims to deliver innovative and forward-thinking solutions to the challenges people living with HIV over the age of 50 are experiencing.

This project has been co-designed with older people living with HIV, ensuring that their critical perspective is recognised throughout the project.

As part of the project, Tom Arthur MSP, who is also Co-Chair of the Cross Party Group on Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses at the Scottish Parliament, has chaired expert seminars focusing on older people living with HIV, on the subjects of health-related quality of life, social isolation, and stigma-free care services.

These seminars brought together people living with HIV, key partners, decision-makers, and the third sector to discuss and learn about the key issues facing older people living with HIV.

Going forward, the project will now identify up to 50 health and social care HIV champions to promote good practice, before creating webinars, factsheets and a final policy action plan detailing specific and innovative solutions addressing the challenges of HIV in older age early next year.

Commenting, Tom Arthur MSP said:

“It’s been a privilege over the past two months to chair these three expert seminars on HIV and Ageing for HIV Scotland as part of their Living Well: 50+ project.

“This work is vital in ensuring that people over the age of 50 living with HIV are supported to live long, healthy and fulfilling lives with access to the highest attainable standard of health and wellbeing, and I look forward to sharing the findings with colleagues in the Scottish Parliament early next year.”

Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive of HIV Scotland, said:

“We are hugely grateful to Tom for chairing our expert seminars, and are excited the next stage of the project. Since the development of effective antiretroviral treatment it’s now a welcome reality that people are living long, healthy lives with HIV.

“Recognising this fact and ensuring that Scotland has a holistic response to the unmet needs of older people living with HIV is of paramount importance, and something that we at HIV Scotland are extremely passionate about.”

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