The Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee


Our Policy and Research Manager, Gabrielle King gave evidence on behalf of Waverley Care at the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee at the Scottish Parliament about HIV stigma and ending new transmission by 2030.

In March 2024, the Equalities, Human Rights, and Civil Justice Committee focused on the topic of addressing HIV stigma and reaching zero new transmission. We were grateful to play a part in organising and providing evidence to the Committee. Held over three weeks, the Committee sessions provided an invaluable opportunity for MSPs to hear directly from the community about the changes needed to enhance life for everyone living with HIV, and to end new HIV transmission by 2030.

We need a society in which people feel safe, cared for and supported. We want properly resourced and funded commitments, reliable data and tailored and person-centred approaches.

HIV: Addressing Stigma and Eliminating Transmission

Over the past 40 years, HIV care has undergone significant transformation, enabling people living with HIV to have an undetectable viral load and lead a long and healthy life. On World AIDS Day 2020, the Scottish Government pledged to eliminate new transmission of HIV by 2030. We are now almost halfway to 2030 and we are concerned that action is not happening fast enough and risks being insufficiently resourced. We live in a Scotland where people do not have equitable access to testing, treatment and support for HIV.


Issues discussed

Waverley Care, in collaboration with Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, has engaged in three sessions with the Equalities, Human Rights, and Civil Justice Committee at the Scottish Parliament. The sessions provided space to discuss how as a country we address HIV stigma, ensure equitable access to testing and prevention, and enhance the quality of life for people living with HIV.

During the initial two sessions, the Committee received testimony from various sectors, including the third sector, academia, health and social care, and clinical professionals, focusing on critical areas such as ending HIV stigma, universal access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and ensuring marginalised groups are able to access HIV testing and care. Gabrielle, alongside Alan Eagleson from Terrence Higgins Trust, Professor Claudia Escourt, and Dr. Howe from NHS Highland, was joined on the first panel.

In the third session, the Committee hosted a private event where people living with HIV shared their story and discussed the issues that affect them most. Informed by these discussions, the Committee heard from the Government in the final session on 26th March. The recommendations stemming from these sessions are anticipated from the Committee later this spring.


About the Committee

The Equalities, Human Rights, and Civil Justice Committee are a cohort of MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) dedicated to issues pertaining to equal opportunities, human rights, and civil justice, with a particular emphasis on addressing inequalities. Within the HIV context, their focus extends to addressing disparities in service access, testing, and support, as well as combating discrimination and stigma. While comprising members from various political parties, the committee operates without political bias, serving as a collaborative forum for addressing issues of universal significance.

Click here to watch the session in full or download the full report from Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committe below.