The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP and the leaders of Scotland’s main political parties stood together inside the Scottish Parliament wearing red ribbons in an act of unity to promote World AIDS Day 2015 on December 1st.
In an act of cross-party consensus, the First Minister was photographed alongside, Kezia Dugdale MSP, leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Ruth Davidson MSP, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Partick Harvie MSP, leader of Scottish Green Party and the CEO of HIV Scotland, George Valiotis.
Nicola Sturgeon said: “On World AIDS Day, I stand with all leaders of the Scottish political parties to wear a red ribbon as an act of solidarity for people living with HIV, and to remember those who we have lost. I am proud that Scotland continues to play a leading role in HIV treatment and prevention, but it is important that we all address the myths and stigma, that continue to create barriers for those living with, and at risk of HIV. I ask you to wear the red ribbon to show your support and challenge the misconceptions.
George Valiotis, Chief Executive of HIV Scotland, said, “It is inspiring to see all the leaders of Scotland’s political parties standing united to mark World AIDS Day. Their unity symbolises that everyone has a role in addressing HIV. There are many misunderstandings that continue to fuel the stigma that hinders people living a dignified life with HIV, and discourages people from getting tested and learning the facts about HIV. People from all walks of life and from all parts of Scotland can be affected by HIV so on World AIDS Day, it is incumbent upon all of us not to be indifferent, but to continue our countries powerful response, by wearing a red ribbon, visiting www.hivscotland.com to learn the facts, and by treating people living with HIV with dignity and respect.
Siobhan McMahon MSP will lodge a motion within the Scottish Parliament on 1st December to mark World AIDS Day.