The Green Party Removes HIV Image from Online Manifesto

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By Helen CattPolitical correspondent

grey placeholderGeorge Westwood  Screenshot of image removed from easy read online version of Green Party manifesto using an image of an ill man to illustrate its policy on HIVGeorge Westwood

The Green Party decided to remove the online version of its manifesto temporarily due to criticism over the use of an image of an ill man to represent its HIV policy.

The image in question was part of the easy-to-read version of the manifesto.

Some individuals on social media raised concerns that the image could be misleading and contribute to stigmatization.

Upon being made aware of the potential misinterpretation of the image, the Green Party promptly took action.

Easy-to-read documents are designed to simplify information, especially for individuals with learning disabilities and communication challenges.

These documents typically feature concise text accompanied by illustrations.

During the unveiling of its manifesto recently, the Green Party of England and Wales made a commitment to strive for “no more HIV transmissions by 2030”.

This initiative includes providing access to the HIV prevention pill through online platforms, pharmacies, and GP services, as well as revitalizing successful opt-out HIV testing schemes in high-prevalence HIV areas within A&Es.

The simplified version of the policy stated: “We will try to stop any new people getting HIV by 2030.”

This message was visually represented by an image showing a man appearing unwell, holding his hand to his throat in front of a large red cross.

grey placeholderGeneral election banner

An individual on X, previously known as Twitter, expressed that the image gave a false impression that individuals with HIV are unwell (and potentially contagious through the air).

Another individual mentioned that the overall tone of the image was reinforcing stigma.

A spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales remarked: “Shortly after publication, we were made aware of how the image used in our simplified manifesto could be misinterpreted.

“For clarity, we temporarily took down the manifesto to substitute this image with a more appropriate one that effectively conveys our commitment to eradicating HIV transmissions by 2030.”

HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is primarily transmitted through bodily fluids.

With effective treatments, individuals can lead healthy lives and prevent the virus from being passed on to others.

In 2019, the government committed to ending HIV transmission by 2030.

In their manifesto released earlier, the Conservatives reiterated this commitment and stated that they would “enhance HIV opt-out testing in emergency departments across England”, pending evaluation.

Labour’s manifesto promises to develop a new HIV action plan in England with the goal of eliminating HIV cases by 2030.

While the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto does not include a specific pledge on HIV, they have previously indicated support for ending transmission in England by 2030.

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