§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will outline the reasons for the closure of the Health Education Authority's AIDS unit;
(2) what discussions he had with the director of the Health Education Authority about the future of the AIDS unit prior to that unit's closure; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
[holding answer 4 December 1989]: The planned internal reorganisation of the Health Education Authority is entirely a matter for the authority, and we played no part in the HEA's decisions on this issue. The HEA's chairman made it clear at the expert symposium on HIV and AIDS organised jointly by the Department and the HEA on 24 November that part of the reorganisation of the HEA's business will involve the management of its AIDS work with that of its six other major health topic programmes. The authority considers that this will increase effectiveness and reflect the AIDS programme's close links with many other aspects of the authority's work. These changes will involve no dilution of the HEA's HIV prevention effort.