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Terrence Higgins Trust: 52% of people still wrongly believe HIV is a death sentence

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  1. I wonder if the text of this article needs correction. I find it very difficult to believe that of “531 people living with HIV” (and who are sufficiently connected to THT and concerned about HIV/AIDS) “63% wrongly believe HIV and AIDS are the same thing; just over half (52%) assume an HIV diagnosis is a death sentence and 37% incorrectly believe there is a cure or vaccine for HIV.”

    For example, I find it extraordinary that this article in PN informs us that 37% of the 531 people who completed the THT survey (and who are themselves, presumably, HIV and on HIV medications) ACTUALLY BELIEVE that there IS, currently, as we speak, a CURE, or a VACCINE, for HIV! That doesn’t make sense. Surely those 37% would be demanding that they receive “the cure” rather than their medications.

    If, however, the statement in PN is true, then it shows that THT has failed over the years to communicate some very important, basic, and simple truths to 37% of the recipients of its own questionnaire!

    1. Jock S. Trap 29 Nov 2013, 12:08pm

      It says “…531 people living with HIV about their experiences of public attitudes to the condition. It’s not the HIV people in question but the public attitude toward people living HIV.

    2. What a cheap shot Eddy, but I have come to expect nothing else from you on the subject of HIV. As Jock says you have misinterpreted the article to suit your own agenda which is to consistently attack THT.

      You are one of the commentators here who perpetuate stigma totally disgraceful!

      1. I often despair for the lack of discernment in some PN readers.

        The article clearly states (to quote):

        The sexual health and health charity has surveyed 531 people living with HIV about their experiences of public attitudes to the condition.

        – 88% reported they had encountered one or more HIV myths during the last five years, giving a picture of the top six myths that persist around the virus.

        – 63% wrongly believe HIV and AIDS are the same thing;

        – just over half (52%) assume an HIV diagnosis is a death sentence

        – and 37% incorrectly believe there is a cure or vaccine for HIV.”

        There is no indication of change of active agent in the grammar used to express the above.




        It seems Mr. Scott Roberts needs to edit his report of the report.

        1. The wording is a little unclear as Eddy explains far better than I ever could. A simple edit could make the article far less confusing.

          I hope Eddy is simply pointing this out as a matter of clarity rather than having a stigma agenda as has been suggested. From my reading I see no evidence of the latter and I am someone living with HIV.

  2. Jock S. Trap 29 Nov 2013, 12:05pm

    More clearly needs to be done to better educate, particularly in schools and stop the stigma attached so that HIV and AIDS can be openly discussed and the best correct information is available to all.

    We live in the 21st Century for pity sake but I guess for some being negative about everything, let alone HIV is a way of life.

  3. There are many individuals who consistently perpetuate stigma & mis-information who (wrongly) believe stigma will act as a deterrent & encourage a change in risk taking behaviours. I have been vilified on these comment pages for daring to be open about my experience of living with HIV.

    Some readers here go to extraordinary lengths to discredit the knowledge of those of us living with HIV & are dismissive of the fantastic improvements we have seen n the care & treatment for HIV here in the UK. There is clear evidence that an individual who is diagnosed early, before their immune system is severely damaged, can expect to live a full & active life. Because of the close monitoring at our clinics many health problems not related to HIV are diagnosed early & successfully treated which is borne out by the ever aging cohort of people with HIV in the UK.

    Head, sand, bury springs to mind – get tested, use condoms & take treatment if required – it significantly reduces transmission risk.

    1. I went to a&e gave my bf as next of kin and the attitude of the doctors and staff became quite different. Even the porters were being hostile. There is a lot of anti gay behaviour in the nhs so if you are HIV+ and the receptionist know you or something it could cause you problems. Let’s not be naïve if this got out in some communities people would be in trouble

    2. Or W6, get your pay masters to do their job and spend the funding left over from paying you all too much and EDUCATE THE PUBLIC – you’ve had 20 odd years to do it and yet as your own survey proves people do not know enough – and this endless targeting of GAY MEN is becoming homophobic Test heteros, test other high risk groups Africans in the UK – closeted self loathers – Men who have sex with men you conveniently call MSM who are Homosexual – look it up in the dictionary – that’s what homosexual means

      Unlike the Public, HIV does NOT Discriminate!

  4. HIV like diabetics should not be stigmatised but should be avoided at all costs. No matter how good the meds are you are better off without it

  5. Concrete proof the THT are incompetent and should be shut down – they are a self serving ‘charity’ who care more about safeguarding their excessive salaries than helping people in the UK and the world living with HIV – They have existed for more than 25 years and did more good and were more use in the early days when it was run by passionate volunteers than it has in the last 10 years – pointless ad campaigns that explain nothing clearly – and a former ‘national helpline’ which has been reduced to a half arsed information line operating in office hours only!!!


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