New Data Reveals People Living With HIV Face Outdated Attitudes And Ongoing Discrimination
Pervasive stigma and prejudice towards people living with HIV continues to persist, according to a new international survey released today on World AIDS Day, as per a Business Wire report.
Photo Insert: Despite the tremendous strides made by the HIV community, a high level of misunderstanding and inherent bias was uncovered by the survey.
Funded by ViiV Healthcare, the global specialist HIV company majority-owned by GlaxoSmithKline Plc (“GSK”), with Pfizer Inc. and Shionogi Limited as shareholders, the survey uncovers outdated attitudes and inherent bias amongst the general public towards people living with HIV.
An overwhelming majority (88%) of respondents believe there are still negative perceptions towards people living with HIV, even though it can now be effectively managed with antiretroviral (ARV) medication. Concerningly, almost a third (30%) of people surveyed incorrectly believe HIV can be transmitted through kissing.
The survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll, surveyed 5,047 adults across four countries, Australia, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States. Data revealed that over three-quarters (76%) of adults who responded are unaware that a person living with HIV who is taking effective treatment cannot pass HIV on to their sexual partners due to the virus being at a level that is undetectable in their blood. In recent years, an overwhelming body of clinical evidence has firmly established the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) concept as scientifically sound, yet outdated misconceptions still exist.
This survey reinforces the importance of anti-stigma campaigns such as HIV in View, a collaboration between ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios to establish the largest online photo library of people living with HIV.
HIV in View features empowering images that authentically portray the reality of living with HIV today. Far from reflecting the fear once associated with HIV, the gallery is filled with inspiring examples of just how much things have changed for many people living with HIV.
Commenting on the survey results, Silvia Petretti, CEO of Positively UK – a peer led charity which aims to improve health and quality of life for people with HIV – and participant in the photography collaboration said: “Over the past four decades we’ve seen incredible progress in the HIV response yet, as this new survey clearly demonstrates, there are still many misconceptions around HIV. I am proud to have taken part in the HIV in View photography project, to show that people living with HIV can live fulfilling, healthy lives. I hope HIV in View helps people to understand the reality of living with HIV and removes HIV-related prejudice seen in the survey results.”
“The HIV community has made tremendous strides in tackling stigma and bias faced by people living with HIV, yet it is alarming to see the level of misunderstanding and inherent bias uncovered by this new survey,” says Deborah Waterhouse, Chief Executive Officer, ViiV Healthcare.
“We often hear from the HIV community that interactions with friends, family, the general public, and even healthcare providers sometimes feel fractured due to misinformation, misconceptions, and the inherent bias held towards people living with HIV. Our hope is that through anti-stigma campaigns such as HIV in View, we can change the way the world views HIV so that one day, we can finally dismantle pervasive stigma for good.”