Nigel Farage was shamed for branding HIV positive people as being an example of “health tourism” and a burden on NHS funding.
The UKIP leader was openly criticised by Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru and Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, for prejudice against HIV Positive people, during a televised pre-election debate.
Farage branded HIV positive people as a burden on the NHS, saying: “You’ve got to stop money being wasted…
“Here’s a fact, and I am sure the other people here will be mortified that I dare to talk about it. There are 7,000 diagnoses in this country every year for people who are HIV positive. It’s not a good place for any of them to be, I know.
“Sixty per cent of them are not British nationals. They can come into Britain from anywhere in the world and get diagnosed with HIV and get the retro-viral drugs that cost up to £25,000 per year per patient.
“I know there are some horrible things happening in many parts of the world, but what we need to do is put the NHS there for British people and families, who in many cases have paid into the system for decades.”
Leanne Wood received applause as she slammed Farage’s comments. “This kind of scaremongering is dangerous, it divides communities and it creates stigma to people who are ill, and I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself,” she said.
Sturgeon also criticised Farage saying: “When somebody is diagnosed with a dreadful illness, my instinct is to view [a HIV sufferer] as a human being, not consider what country they come from.
Last year during an interview with Newsweek, Farage said that people who are HIV positive should not be allowed to enter the UK, when answering a question who shouldn’t be refused immigration to Britain. To which responded: “People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start,” he replied.
At the time, HIV/Aids charity the Terrence Higgins Trust said the Ukip leader should be “truly ashamed” of himself.