A popular landmark is being lit up red to mark World Aids Day.
St Mary’s Lighthouse, off the Whitley Bay, is changing colour today (Thursday) as part of the annual global event highlighting the ongoing battle against HIV and AIDS.
It is one of a number of famous landmarks across the region that will swap its normal light bulbs and glow red for the day as a show of support for those living with HIV in north east communities, and in remembrance of those who have sadly lost their battle with the disease.
Claire Sullivan, Deputy Director of health and wellbeing at PHE NE, said: “We are delighted north east local authorities are supporting Worlds Aids day and the lighting up of local landmarks will make a powerful image.
“The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the north east is falling, but it is too early to tell if figures are beginning to stabilise, so we must not become complacent about tackling HIV in this region.
“HIV is a serious infection and if left untreated it is life threatening.
“But advancements in treatment now mean the sooner HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are diagnosed and treated, the better the treatment outcome and the lower the risk of passing it on to others.
“PHE is working to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV by improving access to testing and is funding HIV home-sampling test kits which can be ordered at www.freetesting.hiv.”