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Volume 519: debated on Wednesday 1 December 2010

3. What recent discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Health and (b) Scottish Executive on strategies to reduce the incidence of HIV in the UK. (26709)

I am in contact with the Secretary of State for Health and the Scottish Government on a range of matters. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Government published their public health White Paper yesterday. As that is taken forward, close attention will be paid to the lessons that can be learned from the Scottish Government HIV action plan.

I am grateful to the Minister for that answer. On world AIDS day, it is worth reminding ourselves of the rather obvious fact that viruses such as HIV do not respect borders. Will he reassure me that as the Government seek to draw up their sexual health and HIV strategy they will work closely with all the devolved Administrations to ensure a coherent and joined-up approach? That is the only way that we will slow the spread of the virus, which has already claimed far too many lives.

It is indeed appropriate that the hon. Gentleman has asked his question on world AIDS day. He is to be commended for his work as chairman of the all-party group on HIV and AIDS and for his work on the “Halve It” campaign. The Secretary of State will shortly meet the Minister for Public Health in Scotland, Shona Robison, and I shall ensure that this matter is on the agenda.

Will my right hon. Friend give an undertaking to discuss with the Scottish Government the findings from the eight pilot projects that the Department of Health is running to extend HIV testing in primary care hospitals and community centres?

I am happy to give that undertaking. As the hon. Member for Inverclyde (David Cairns) intimated, HIV and AIDS know no borders and the rest of the United Kingdom can learn from what has happened in Scotland, just as Scotland can learn from what is happening elsewhere in the United Kingdom.