Labour leader Keir Starmer and his frontbenchers, as well as Conservative ministers, were among those who wore the pins on their lapels.
The badges represent the Terrence Higgins Trust, a charity that has helped people affected by HIV and other sexual health issues since 1982.
We've launched a Heart badge to mark our 40th anniversary 💙— Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) June 28, 2022
The Heart has been with us from the start. It's a symbol of love and care towards people affected by HIV.
Stars of #ItsASin, #DragRaceUK and #Heartstopper have already worn it — and you can too⬇️
The badge was created by the charity to commemorate its 40th anniversary, and it has already been worn by stars of hit shows It’s A Sin and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
“The Heart has always been with us. “It is a symbol of love and care for people living with HIV,” the charity explained.
The organization is named after Higgins, who was one of the first people in the United Kingdom to die from AIDS. Starmer paid tribute to the man who died at the age of 37 at the start of his PMQs section.
Martyn Butler OBE, the charity’s co-founder, said on the 40th anniversary of Higgins’ death: “We started the Trust almost by accident because no-one else was providing the information our community needed to protect themselves against this new virus that had killed Terry.”
“I’m very proud of everything that has been accomplished in Terry’s name since then to empower, educate, and ultimately save lives.” I hope that this anniversary inspires everyone to overcome any complacency about HIV and do the work necessary to end new cases by 2030. What a wonderful legacy that would be for Terry.”
New polling data released earlier this week revealed that attitudes toward HIV are not changing quickly.
According to a YouGov poll, less than 40% of people in the UK are aware that people on effective HIV treatment cannot pass the virus on to partners.
According to a 2004 poll, only 37% of people would be comfortable kissing someone who has HIV.
According to the Terrence Higgins Trust, advances in HIV medication allow people to live long, healthy lives with HIV, and 97 percent of those diagnosed and on treatment in the UK are virally suppressed and cannot transmit HIV.
“This is an important moment to remember Terry and celebrate all that has been achieved in the last four decades,” said Ian Green, chief executive of the charity.
“However, it’s horrifying to see the stigma that has persisted all these years.”
“I’ve had HIV for over 25 years and there’s no danger in hugging or kissing me.”
“I know that the treatment I’m on prevents me from passing on HIV, and my husband is aware of this as well.”
“I just wish people were more aware of how much HIV has changed since the 1980s.”
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