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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Poverty for HIV sufferers

1st December 2006

One in three poeple living with HIV have turned to a charity’s hardship fund as they are living in extreme poverty, says a new report.

The National Aids Trust and Crusaid charities have published a study which reveals rising numbers of HIV sufferers living in poverty in the UK. The report, launched on World Aids Day, also found evidence of hate crime and discrimination against people with the virus and criticised government asylum policies for the growing numbers of poverty amongst those living with HIV. Applications to the Crusaid Hardship Fund have risen by 33% in the past four years, a significant number coming from asylum seekers.

The average income of applicants to the Hardship Fund was £60 per week meaning they were living in extreme poverty. The report said that restrictions on asylum seekers' rights to work and benefits were fuelling the problem. It found that many were living in substandard housing and were unable to afford basic food and clothing. But the government said that encouraging asylum seekers to work could result in applications for asylum from people with no real fear of persecution.

The National Aids Trust and Crusaid have called for "urgent action? to deal with the rising levels of poverty amongst those living with HIV.

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