Lord Fowler to head new HIV and AIDS committee

Former Birmingham MP Norman Fowler is to head a new Parliamentary committee on HIV and AIDS in the UK.

Lord Fowler, who represented Sutton Coldfield for 27 years, is to head a House of Lords committee looking at how successful policies for preventing and treating HIV and AIDS have been.

He was Secretary of State for Social Services, with responsibility for public health, between 1981-1987, and played a leading role in developing the first national HIV awareness campaign which used the slogan “Don’t die of ignorance”.

The committee will hold a series of public evidence sessions before producing a report next summer.

Lord Fowler, said: “The Committee’s report will appear almost exactly a quarter of a century since the ‘Don’t Die of Ignorance‘ campaign in 1986. This is a good time to review the success of prevention and treatment policies.
The AIDS ‘Don’t die of ignorance’ campaign of the 1980s

“In the last 25 years various efforts have been made to check the spread of the infection. Nevertheless today the number of people living with HIV is nearing 100,000.

“The committee will examine whether public education has been effective and how it might be improved; and also the importance of early diagnosis. Currently about 27 per cent of those with HIV do not know that they are infected.

“The committee will examine what improvements can be made in testing and consider evidence of discrimination”