NAT (National AIDS Trust) today launches its fourth survey ’HIV: Public Knowledge and Attitudes 2010’, conducted by Ipsos MORI amongst adults aged 16+ in Great Britain (referred to henceforth as ‘people’ or ‘the public’). The report reveals a worrying decline in knowledge and understanding of HIV over the past ten years.
One in five adults do not realise HIV is transmitted through sex without a condom between a man and a woman
- Only three in ten adults (30%) can correctly identify, from a list of possible routes, all of the ways HIV is and is not transmitted
- An increasing proportion of adults incorrectly believe HIV can be transmitted by impossible routes such as kissing and spitting
- Nearly a fifth of adults (19%) believe if a family member was HIV positive it would damage their relationship with them
- More than two thirds of British adults (68%) agree more needs to be done to tackle prejudice against people living with HIV in the UK
For those of us who are very public about living with HIV we can face similar discrimination on a near daily basis. For those who are not public about their diagnosis they can still face the discrimination but it is probably harder for them to combat it. In a recent survey in Belfast, fewer than 5% of those living with HIV felt that they could share that wider than health care professionals and support workers. Obviously, I am one of those that is able. I am a lucky one.
We must tell the world that HIV is not contagious in normal everyday life. That’s one of the reasons that I am so public about living with HIV. It helps to break down the stigma.
- Britons ‘still ignorant about HIV’ (mirror.co.uk)
- HIV denial is fatal (denyingaids.blogspot.com)
- Slideshow: 12 urban myths that increase your chances of catching an STD (thegrio.com)