A day of action will take place in the city as part of an international day to crack down on the stigma around HIV.

Brighton and Hove will join other cities around the world in marking the first International Zero HIV Stigma Day to help raise awareness about the issue.

Local HIV charities, along with the NHS, will be based in Jubilee Square tomorrow from midday for people to chat about the virus and how ending stigma can improve testing, diagnosis, treatment and the quality of life for those living with HIV.

An exhibition of portraits of people living with HIV will also be displayed in Jubilee Library, with the Terrence Higgins Trust providing testing from the Rainbow Hub room at the nearby Ledward Centre.

The Martin Fisher Foundation HIV awareness bus will also be in Jubilee Square all day, sharing information with grassroots HIV charity Lunch Positive.

The day will culminate with a Zero Stigma Rally from 5.15pm, which will feature a range of speakers sharing their experiences of living with HIV, along with poetry and music from Rainbow Chorus.

Gary Pargeter, director of HIV charity Lunch Positive, said: “Stigma still affects many people who are living with HIV, with almost 75 per cent of people in the UK reporting experiences of discrimination.

“Surveys show that people living with HIV still experience negative perceptions and reactions because of their HIV status in social, healthcare, workplace and community settings - and HIV stigma can prevent people from coming forward for testing and starting treatment.

“It needs to be a whole community response to combat this. Understanding HIV and stigma is everyone’s responsibility, and we want to reach and involve as many people as possible to help achieve the goals of zero HIV stigma, as well as no new cases of HIV.”

The event has been organised by the Towards Zero HIV Taskforce, a partnership between the council, NHS, the Martin Fisher Foundation, charities including Lunch Positive and the Terrence Higgins Trust, members of the community, acandamics and clinicians.