MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale David Mundell has asked the prime minister to praise the “incredible contribution” of Sir Elton John in his fight to eradicate Aids.

The former Scottish secretary spoke during Wednesday’s Prime Ministers Questions at Westminster ahead of Sir Elton visit to Parliament to urge ministers to do more to hit a 2030 target of eliminating new HIV cases in England.

It comes as more than 580 previously undiagnosed cases have been identified by a pioneering new testing scheme.

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The opt-out trials, which cost £20m, were designed to identify cases in people unlikely to get tested at a sexual health clinic and are based on similar bloodborne infection testing programmes already in place for pregnant women.

Under the scheme, anyone having a blood test in selected hospital A&E units has also been tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, unless they opted out.

The NHS says 42% of HIV diagnoses in the UK are made late, when the immune system has already been significantly damaged.

In response to Mr Mundell’s question Rishi Sunak said Sir Elton “has been a powerful voice for change” across the world and he will be pleased to join him at the event later.

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He also said there will be an announcement later on new measures to meet the government’s target to “end new transmission of HIV by 2030”.

Addressing a packed Speaker's House, Sir Elton John welcomed the UK Government's further roll-out of opt-out testing.

He said:  "My Foundation and partners did a three-year pilot (2018-2021) in the South London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.

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"This pioneering approach showed beyond a doubt that opt-out testing works in A&E. Automatic testing gets to people earlier, which means less HIV transmission, less illness, less death and by the estimate of health economists, £50 million saved for the NHS.

"So, to hear today from the Secretary of State that this work will be expanded to every high HIV prevalence area…46 new Accident & Emergency departments in local hospitals across England…more than doubling the number of HIV tests, is truly wonderful news."

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World AIDS Day was commemorated on Friday December1st  and despite advances in treatment, 630,000 people died of AIDS related diseases in 2022.

Worldwide, HIV rates are rising faster among young people than in any other group and more than half of people living with HIV are women and girls.

Over nine million people are not currently accessing treatment that could save their lives, all too often because shame and stigma is holding them back.