HIV experts are urging the public to “listen to science, not stigma” after a survey found 40 per cent of the population would feel uncomfortable about going on a date with somebody living with HIV who was on effective treatment. Around one in three (32 per cent) adults would feel uncomfortable giving First Aid to someone with HIV who is on effective treatment, and over one in five people (22 per cent) felt the same way about playing contact sport with them.
Medical evidence has shown that people living with HIV who are on effective treatment cannot pass on the virus but just nine per cent of the British public are aware of this, according to the YouGov survey, commissioned by the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Outdated beliefs about the virus’s transmission are fuelling stigma and discrimination, and preventing people from coming forward for testing, the HIV and sexual health charity warned. It also stressed there is “no risk” of contracting HIV from any of the situations outlined above.