Almost a third (30%) of UK adults say they need more information about HIV, a new survey has shown.
The global survey from Durex - launched to mark World AIDS Day - has shown that 34% of men and 26% of women say they do not know enough about HIV.
This lack of knowledge about HIV is even more alarming as the survey also shows a high proportion of people are not taking the necessary steps to have safer sex. For example, half of all respondents admitted not using a condom when they lost their virginity and 15% were in casual relationships at the time.
People are also unsure about their partners’ sexual history, with one in seven respondents in a relationship (15%) in the dark about whether their partner has ever had an STI.
The results of this survey reinforce the worrying findings of recent Ipsos MORI research, commissioned by the National AIDS Trust (NAT) which showed, overall, that the general public’s knowledge about HIV is declining.
To help raise awareness about HIV, Durex has partnered with NAT to create two new web resources - one for healthcare professionals and the other for the public.
The healthcare professionals’ resource includes a Continuing Professional Development tool that is to be launched during World AIDS Day.
The CPD tool has been created for Durex by NAT. Visitors to the DurexHCP website’s new HIV section at will be able to find out information about HIV diagnosis and treatment as well as social and work issues that could arise for patients.
They can then test and improve their knowledge about the condition and download a certificate to show completion of the course.
The second resource, an NAT website aimed at the general public, is now live.
All of the content for the website has been written by NAT, and the site has been designed by the Durex team to be interactive, understandable and easy to navigate.
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT said: “This website is designed to help people find out everything they should know about HIV. One problem we have found with other websites is that they are not updated very regularly and are often incomplete, out of date or contain inaccurate information. We have committed to ensure that all of the information on HIVaware is kept completely up to date so people can visit the site and be confident that they are getting the latest, reliable information.”
Charles Shepherd, head of health promotion for Durex, commented: “It is important that correct information about HIV is available to the public and healthcare professionals to ensure that people are kept informed and able to protect themselves.
“These two web resources should help to ensure that the general public and healthcare professionals alike can access information knowing that it has been produced by NAT and is therefore reliable and up-to-date.”