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This weekend marks 30th anniversary of first HIV cases but ignorance is growing, say National AIDS Trust

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  1. Sadly there appears to be very little in the way of education about health be it HIV or testicular cancer its a disgrace.

  2. Whats the answer?? the awareness campaign that was used in the 80’s?? did that work?? and i do remember there being other tv awareness ads more recently, but they were shown at strange times and not for a prolonged period of time. Whats the best way to get the message out there??

    1. The iceburg and initial awareness campaign did work for a time – but we are now around 2 generations later and the campaigning on HIV has been diluted and less hard hitting – its time to remind the population of the issue (it is a diffierent scenario now but prevention is better than treatment, treatment is now better than it was …)

      1. The people from glaxo who made hiv med ad look like ikea commercials benefit from more medication sales. It’s in their interest to ensure that there are more infections

        1. Speaking of medication, James!, check your dosage. (and that self-aggrandizing exclamation point needs some attention, as well)

          1. Your mum dick head

          2. Oh come on don’t be orrible to one another. James! has a point, somewhere in there??? The point being that medical companies make billions off selling these drug, when it should be a non profit organisation that comes up with these cures. Instead of lining business mens bank accounts on the bareback (pun intended) of people suffering with diseases, the money should go back into more research and be cheaper for governments and people to buy.
            But you are a bit paranoid recently James! You’re not smoking too much are you?

          3. No

      2. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:11am

        That is true Stu.
        We need to be starting to teach the same subject but in many different ways to get the same message through to many different people.
        Sadly there will always be some though who aren’t interested.
        It’s time the government got off it ass on this and mucked in.

        1. Spanner1960 4 Jun 2011, 8:22pm

          The only way to get the message across is to scare the living crap out of people.
          It worked in the 80’s, but then it all went soft once people stopped dying and the ‘wonder-drug-cure’ fixed everything. (Except we know there is no cure and 5,500 are dying every day from it.)

          People need a wake-up call again: Stop fcuking about and take precautions, or at best you will knock ten years off your life, or at worst you could be dead in 6 months. No shag is worth that much.

          1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 10:11am

            I agree that we need a stronger ad campaign but clearly All ad campaigns haven’t worked effective because if they did we wouldn’t have the problem we do today.
            Having said that we have people who clearly do take notice but it’s the ones who don’t and the ones who won’t.
            No people need to know the facts about HIV/AID the grouling medications and vile and can be damaging side effects.
            I think you are right though it has changed with better medication but I have been shocked that still we have idiots who go out wanting this virus.
            How do we reach them?

      3. Dan Filson 8 Jun 2011, 3:11pm

        The iceberg campaign was A DISASTER! Totally useless and uninformative – “Don’t die of ignorance” is a fine caption, even though it, wrongly as it transpired, conveyed the message that HIV-infection was invariably fatal – it conveyed no useful information save as a frightener.

  3. Its time to act in a more decisive hard hitting public education campaign on issues such as HIV and appropriately target the health education budget for HIV. Not just reduce the budget – ultimately by failing to invest in quality and effective health education and promotion then the result is that more people (many through ignorance) will become infected with HIV and the cost for the NHS will grow significantly more than the cost of good quality effective health education.

    1. Thanks. its all down to education isn’t it. If only schools could acknowledge that they have gay pupils who need this sort of information before they go off into the big wide world. Sadly many parents of young gay children are either not aware of their child’s sexuality or are not sufficiently aware themselves of the risks. My son left school with no proper sex education and as a parent i’d only focussed on the hetrosexual scenario!! i know that HIV is EVERYONE’s problem but i do believe that for young gay adults the information is sadly lacking and they are vulnerable to taking risks. hmmm hope i haven’t offended anyone with these comments, and i hope i don’t appear to be a useless mum who didn’t have the right “talk” with my son!!! we got there in the end!!

      1. Staircase2 3 Jun 2011, 8:18pm

        But its not just a gay issue though – and youre right its about education

        Im often appalled at the displayed ignorance of people on their profiles on sites like gaydar and Adam4Adam regarding HIV and all STIs. Theres a strange ‘must be clean’ philosophy which a) assumes that STIs are somehow ‘dirty’ (which is downright stoopid!) and b) assumed that asking for someone to be STI free is a gameplan which will actually work! lol which is EQUALLY STOOPID.
        This terminology is something Ive encountered before but more from American based profiles – its like the language and concept is creeping into the UK profiles too now – especially among the young and the closeted (where ignorance rules)
        Not only do you have ‘the right’ to ‘talk with your son’ Lizzie – but you should be – its actually your responsibility to do just that. Just as its all of our collective responsibility to ensure that schools educate our children properly in sexual health matters.

        1. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:17am

          I agree but that is the main problem.
          Most people still see it as a Gay disease so won’t teach awareness of HIV.
          It’s been the biggest mistake for years since the rates of Heterosexual new infection has been higher.
          This almost seems like neglect not to teach the facts esp at school.

          1. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:18am

            It’s pur ignorance and it’s that, that is dangerous.

          2. On World Aids Day last year, the general perception from the few people who I spoke to while on an information stand in the shopping centre is that it is an African problem rather than a gay problem.

    2. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:13am

      I can never understand why when we see ads on TV etc about STDs, HIV is never included, yet out of all others is the one that has no cure.

  4. Eddy - from 2007 3 Jun 2011, 2:19pm

    Hats off to that HIV+ guy with the American accent who appeared on BBC London News earlier this week, dressed in a suit, drinking a coffee outside some cafe, who said that while his condition was stable, due to daily medication, he was having to live with internal inflammation, effects upon the heart, the bones, and HIV’s on-going effects inside the brain.

  5. Ignorance is very high amung the gay community who ‘advertise’ on online sites for ‘Bare Back Sex’.

    Then they whing and while when they catch something.

    1. Ignorance is partly high due to a lack of education

      Also it is wrong to lump all gay people into one thought on bareback sex or one community – we are LGBT communities.

      Most people who I know who are positive did very little whining and whinging – they had many and varied reactions but I never once saw them whine or winge.

    2. Thank you James you wait until the “porn dosen’t affect behaviour” crew get here

      1. I don’t think he meant porn? I think he meant guys profiles that say bareback sex only. And watching bareback porn doesn’t give you HIV.

        1. So what came first the profiles or the porn?

          1. TO be honest neither profiles nor porn gives you HIV – its not a virus that has worked out how to replicate based on what people look at … it requires some intimate contact – thats not achieved by setting up a profile or watching porn – thats created by a personal decision to engage in a particular type of activity that is risky (or perhaps sometimes in activity that is safer but something goes wrong)
            Porn doesnt cause HIV

          2. Neither. Bareback gay sex has been around before porn or profiles, and it’ll be around after computers and dvd’s have gone.

          3. Staircase2 3 Jun 2011, 8:27pm

            I think thats actually irrelevant to be honest – for this reason: the issue isnt actually about barebacking at all – its about ignorance of how people catch HIV.
            If anything it could be said that the enormous hammering home of ‘condom only’ message actually created the barebacking as fetish phenomenon.

            When I was younger noone ever even talked about barebacking – as an example you just have to look at the way that bareback porn differs in content from the originally condomless porn of the 70s and early 80s for example. There is now a fetishisation of the act of penetration which didnt exist before.
            Its all very well sitting on the PinkNews messaging board and ranting about your pet topic day in and day out but in truth the issue is a lot more complex – and as I said earlier – in terms of the actual issue of the article, irrelevant.
            The article is about the ignorance which currently exists around HIV and infection – not about the choices that ‘informed’ people are making…

          4. you guys are weird fcuking without a condom is risky not just for hiv but for all the other std’s out there. You must reall be into it

          5. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:25am

            Indeed Stu.
            In many cases it requires individuals to make a choice.

          6. @James!

            Which one of the contributors to this thread said they engage in bareback sex?

            Not one

            Some of us recognise that bareback porn and internet profiles are not the cause of HIV transmission – that does not necessarily mean we endorse or engage in bareback sex

            Just a point of clarity – there are some cases of HIV which are not caused by personal choice eg rape survivors, blood transfusion etc .

      2. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:20am

        Advertising is banned, yet people still smoke knowing the facts.
        What’s different?

        1. Dan Filson 8 Jun 2011, 3:17pm

          Arguably, if adverts were permitted against smoking, showing for example a lung blackened by tar or what a person with advanced lung cancer looked like, there might be more deterrent effect. I’ve never seen anyone with advanced lung cancer but I’ll bet it would deter me if I was considering starting to smoke. Illnesses stemming from smoking are too abstract for teens and others to envisage. Perhaps that’s the problem with sexual health education also.

          1. Jock S. Trap 9 Jun 2011, 10:53am

            I agree in part but showing those images would have a shelf life.
            After you seen them 2, 3, 4 time people become immune from it’s affect.
            They tried on on the fag packets, it didn’t work.

            I think like HIV, to effectively get people to stop smoking you have to try different methods in trying to get that one message across.
            Different people respond to different advertising techniques.
            The people missing out most are the ones who feel the way the info is given is lecturing.

            Of course in both HIV and Smoke there will always be those who just refuse to listen because they have no interest in listening.

    3. Sister Maray Clarence 3 Jun 2011, 7:45pm

      James, did it ever occur to you that those people advertising for bareback sex, have in the most part already contracted HIV, so have little to risk on the HIV front from engaging in bareback sex with other positive people.

      I think this is where the ‘education’ point comes in, because its all well and good one +ve person having unprotected sex with another +ve person, but those who are not +ve need to understand what is going on and also understand that it is not something that they can safely engage in.

      1. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:28am

        Very true but those HIV+ having sex with other HIV+ people are still putting themselves at risk, all be it slight, to re-infection of a different strain of HIV.

        1. For HIV+ people on medication this is a myth, and this unfortunately is the problem with the education that we are provided with.

          Once on medication, in the same way that PEP acts to prevent infections in HIV- negative people, it also prevents infection with other strains in HIV+ people.

          1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 12:27pm

            Not all people with HIV are on medication.
            I was lucky enough not to have to go on meds for nearly 10 years.

            There are some that believe what you say and think they are no longer any risk so have unprotected sex.

            As yet their is also not effective evidence that you cannot be reinfected with another strain.
            It is considered unlikely but not certain.
            Just like PEP is not 100% there is always the chance.
            We don’t need to be naive.

          2. Sister Mary Clarence 9 Jun 2011, 12:16am

            There is an increasingly strong argument that everyone with HIV should be on medication.

            We put people on meds now still only when CD4 counts are perilously low … lower than in the States and lower that the WHO recommends.

            New Swiss research shows that a considerable number of new infections arise from contracting the virus from longer term HIV suffered, rather than from newly infected, undiagnosed suffered.

            There is effective research to show that you cannot be infected with another strain when on meds, and the fact that there has never been anyone found to have been infected with a second strain who is compliant with their treatment regime bears this out.

            As you say there always ‘is a chance’, but surely better to be absolutely honest about how big, or how small, the chance really is

          3. Jock S. Trap 9 Jun 2011, 10:59am

            There is that argument and I happen to think it is wrong.
            Although some hospitals in the UK already put on meds the minute they get a positive result I think it should be only when the body needs it.
            So for some it may well be straight away but for me it took 11 years and only because of a seperate illness.
            There was no way I would have even considered going on them before that.
            Had I gone on them 15 years ago I would have been on the likes of AZT and lordy know how many other pills.
            Treatment is far more effective now with less pills however no matter what these pills are stronger than most so we have to take into account the timing of when we start when we have side effects etc on the body itself.

          4. Jock S. Trap 9 Jun 2011, 11:03am

            I do dispute your Swiss research because even the most up to date technology cannot tell now long patience have had HIV.
            Some may be able to speculate if symptons are that of a newly diagnosed patience if those symptons resemble it just caught but other than that there is no telling.
            HIV is too complex for them to tell.

    4. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:24am

      Ignorance is high among SOME in the Gay community.
      The numbers are low but I do take your point.
      However what can we do, ban them?
      Then what?
      Ban people having Bareback sex?
      How do you police that?
      This is all about the individual and those individual choices.

      1. Spanner1960 4 Jun 2011, 8:25pm

        Yes. The one’s that haven’t got it.
        Everyone’s knowledgeable after the fact.

        1. Yes, stigmatising a disease further, that really helps, doesn’t it. Its about empowering the individual to make safe choices.

          1. Absolutely – empowering people to make safe and informed choices … Normalising safer sex …

          2. Spanner1960 4 Jun 2011, 11:47pm

            We have had thirty years of “normalising”, and still millions have died from it. The only time people actually care is when it affects them directly.

            It’s obvious empowering and educating doesn’t work, so one should use fear and threat instead.

          3. The problem isnt the strategy its that people are not adopting the strategy personally …

            There is a case for an element of direct hard hitting information campaigns – but that should not the sole tool of health education

          4. Fear? Since when has fear being an effective weapon? Fear of contagion coupled with negative, value-based assumptions about people who are infected leads to high levels of stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS, and drives treatment and unsafe behaviours underground. It does not work. It didn’t work in the 80’s, it wont work now.

          5. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 10:17am

            Sadly I think your right Will.
            There needs to be a range of ways to portray the same message.
            Have it strong, have it in different way to help gets this through.
            We need a campaign that can be simple yet enough to get people thinking about this issue.

          6. Spanner1960 6 Jun 2011, 6:48pm

            Will “Fear? Since when has fear being an effective weapon?”

            It is used all the time by insurance companies: “Get insured now as tomorrow you may get hit by a bus, or all your belongings stolen, or get sued by somebody etc etc.”
            Fear is a great motivator, and if you can’t attract people with a juicy carrot, you whack them over the head with a big stick. I think we have had way too many carrots to date.

      2. Ironically I think ignorance is probably far less amongst those people advertising for bareback sex, than many of the people here decrying them for doing so.

        The standard of information provided about HIV in appalling and dangerous. Information on what is okay and what is not seems to be based more on what health professionals are prepared to allow at any particular time.

        Everything has a risk, whatever we do, in whatever aspect of our lives. Somebody with HIV barebacking is in a very different place on the risk curve to someone without HIV.

        Two say that two people with HIV cannot have unprotected sex is ludicrous.

        Making everyone understand the risks involved in any particular circumstance is the solution not misinforming or creating stupid rules that are irrelevant for some sections of society.

    5. We have to agree to disagree. i think bareback is a pretty nasty aspect of gay culture.

  6. You can do something by pressuring the All Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS to work towards a UK strategy on this issue. They last looked at it in 1998. A lot has changed since. Look at their website:

  7. Cpt Kibbles 3 Jun 2011, 2:51pm

    i know im going to sementics a bit again but HIV is pandemic rather than epidemic since its a threat all across the planet rather than a local problem but nevermind, although this may just be my own experiance i dont know but it does is seems to me as if in large parts of society its still 1 of those subjects that is avoided or simply ignored on purpose and the decline of effot from government probably doesnt help either

  8. Why doesn’t the world stop spending money on researching new weapons and building armies and use that money to research cures for cancer, HIV, etc? I guess heterosexuals prefer killing people to saving them.

    1. Men have to stop sticking their unsheafed members into each other. i have to thnk skinner for the term

      1. Staircase2 3 Jun 2011, 8:31pm

        nonsense – going back to the ignorance/education factor again: you cannot catch HIV by having unprotected sex with someone unless they are actually positive themselves. Theres no point in the ‘just say no’ message – it doesnt work re drugs education and it doesnt work with sex education either.
        What matters is that you give people the facts so that they can then protect themselves and take responsibility for their own sexual health decisions.

        1. ok forget hiv what about the other std’s Would you encourage the use of condoms?

          1. James, before HIV everyone was happily engaging in relations without condoms mate.

            If you’re going to throw your bits up everyone then obviously you’re at risk of catching something nasty but it doesn’t equate that if you’re having unprotected sex you’re a complete dog.

      2. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 7:30am

        So come on James!
        I get you’d ban BB porn but then what?
        Do you think suddenly the numbers will drop?

        1. well smoking is banned on TV so it must work

          1. I’ve never seen bareback sex on national TV. Has Emmerdale gone hardcore? Aaron and jackson? Now that would make a good bareback porn.

          2. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 10:18am

            But it doesn’t James! and we both know it.
            People take risks.
            People think it won’t happen to them.

          3. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 10:21am

            Actually eddy thats a good point.
            This porn isn’t on the national tellybox.

            All you’ll do if you ban bareback porn is make it a more desired, sellable product.

          4. James, I don’t see any adverts for Cannabis on TV, so can you explain why so many people are at it?

    2. You may have a point, Eddy

  9. The UN Dispatch has a quite different take on this astonishing report:

  10. Also some educational material available here:

  11. If HIV/Aids was affecting the indigenous mainstream populace in the numbers it is gay men, then you can be damn sure that it would be on the syllabuses of every centre of learning in the UK today. The fact is that it’s primarily an indigenous gay male affliction and no matter how far gay rights have advanced since the advent of the HIV epidemic, there strikes me that there remains a sense of “it’s only gay men being affected” in the seats of power that are serving to marginalise HIV/Aids awareness to virtually zero. Among the mainstream populace in the UK today, HIV is predominantly to be found among African health tourists and asylum seekers. The predicted undiscriminating explosion of HIV/Aids simply did not occur, and while rates of infection among gay men started to decline in the mid-1990s, it was the HIV prevention sector that began accepting kickbacks by pushing an touting Big Pharma’s drugs above all else, lulling gay men into a false sense of security that exists to this day.

    1. Dan Filson 8 Jun 2011, 3:31pm

      You say “If HIV/Aids was affecting the indigenous mainstream populace in the numbers it is gay men, then you can be damn sure that it would be on the syllabuses of every centre of learning in the UK today.”

      But whilst as a % of mainstream (not sure I’m into using that word) population, infections may be low, in numerical terms they’re rising quite fast and for all I know maybe approaching or exceeding the HIV-infection rate numbers in the gay population. I know THT argues the need to continue education for the gay population, and I concur, but suspect the wider population is seriously blase about the risks it faces.

      Incidentally, there is a serious risk of falling into the trap of believing that a campaign once done is done. There are new 16-year-olds starting their sex lives every year. Some, alas, are in faith schools where sex is minimally discussed.

      Sex is fun, enjoyable. Any sexual health education messages that fail to take account of that are doomed to fail.

  12. Jock S. Trap 4 Jun 2011, 10:51pm

    If we got rid of all the religious bigots then we wouldn’t have this problem at all.

    1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 10:23am

      Oh dear – another attempt at hijacking my name.
      Well it’s been a while and not very imaginative.

      1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 2:58pm

        It’s your fault for being so tolerant of those religious perverts and it’s all their fault.

        1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jun 2011, 3:31pm

          If you have to hide behind others…
          LOL – Never mind!!

          1. Dan Filson 8 Jun 2011, 3:32pm

            So do I now have to decode which is the REAL Jock S. Trap? How is it possible for two people to register the same user name – even James and James! have different user names.

          2. Jock S. Trap 9 Jun 2011, 11:04am

            Thank PinkNews for that!!
            Have reported but know no action will happen.

  13. Just a week ago the newspapers were reporting research showing how the graphic, hardhitting facts and photos printed on ciggie packets have prompted many people to rethink smoking and encourage a good number to quit altogether. So why have we never seen a hardhitting ad from the so-called HIV preventionists that depict the hazardous realities of living with HIV, and the chronic illnesses they are likely to suffer during their curtailed lifetimes? Why instead do we tolerate sexy HIV prevention ads that depict muscular hot men barebacking and which implore us to “Pull out like a porn star” Why are we not in uproar when money is wasted on ridiculous “HIV prevention” ads featuring goons with kitchen “HIV detector” implements on their heads? THT and GMFA have shafted us good and proper where HIV prevention is concerned. Now is the time to demand the rights of negative men to remain negative are prioritised above the mythical need for the feelings of HIVers to be protected above all else…

  14. I wonder why HIV/AIDS just appeared suddenly 30 years ago?

    1. It didn’t.

      There is all sorts on the net about its causes now and progress, which if you google it makes very interesting reading

      1. Yes very interesting. All sorts of theories. Strange how it suddenly appeared in california and new york, on opposite sides of the continent 30 years ago though.

        1. Erm, perhaps the wonders of modern day aviation had something to do with it?

          1. Oh yeah, because planes where only invented in 1980.

  15. Rich (original) 5 Jun 2011, 7:26pm

    “ignorance is growing”
    That’s is God’s Will for homosexuals.

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