HIV is still widely misunderstood in the UK with almost 50 per cent of people still not knowing how it is contracted.
Shockingly, out of 12,000 questioned in a survey by the National Aids Trust, 46 per cent incorrectly think you can get HIV by means such as being spat at, bitten, or stepping on a needle in the park. Deborah Jacks, chief executive at the National Aids Trust said: “We often read stories in the media about people having to take HIV tests after being spat at, bit or stepping on a needle in a park; however the risk from these activities is either non-existent or incredibly low. Misinformation about how you can contract HIV leads to anxiety and feeds stigma and discrimination towards people living with the disease. The stigma can be incredibly damaging. It is also an immense distraction from the overwhelming risk factor for HIV in the UK – unsafe sex.”
The study also revealed that only four out of ten people knew that 95 per cent of HIV infections in the UK are due to unprotected sex. Currently there is no cure for HIV but treatments are now more effective at assisting those with the virus to live longer.