A courageous young volunteer has lost his fight against AIDS after a short battle with the illness.

Ross Scott from Kirkcaldy, aged just 25, was a volunteer with several local groups including Fife and Perthshire Pride and supported Pink Saltire at a number of events.

Ross, who had been moved to a hospice in recent days, died peacefully surrounded by friends and family late on Tuesday 14th January.

A crowdfund appeal to raise money for a funeral for Ross, organised by his cousin Julie Shand, has already realised more than £2,500 and is still open here.

Perthshire Pride have confirmed they will name their main stage after the volunteer who gave up his time selflessly at several local LGBT events and also raised awareness of HIV through social media.

It’s understood Ross had been living with HIV for some time undiagnosed and when he became ill almost 2 years ago, doctors initially treated him for a different condition. By the time it was discovered Ross was living with HIV, it was too late for treatment to be effective.

Ross volunteered with us during the 2018 Pride season, giving up his time for a charity he cared deeply about. He was on hand to help set-up our stalls and exhibition and always had a smile for anyone he met with.

Ross’s friends have taken to social media to share their heartbreak at the news of his passing, with one describing him as “an amazing loving and caring person”.

The tragic case highlights the need for regular HIV testing, something that a leading charity boss says is more urgent than ever.

Describing Ross’s case as “quite unique”, Nathan Sparling, Chief Executive of HIV Scotland said: “You don’t often see people in the final stages of AIDS anymore. It just shows there’s a lot more work to do because it was a shock to me to see this particular case.”

“If anyone is at any risk of HIV, whether it is through condomless sex, having a number of partners or taking drugs, then they need to make sure they know their status.”

“It’s not just people being complacent, it’s health services being complacent. HIV is now seen as a long term, manageable condition, but GPs are not testing so people are living with HIV without being diagnosed.”

Ross will be missed by those of us who knew him and our thoughts and love are with his family at this very sad time.

RIP Ross.

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