Knowledge About HIV Transmission Declined in Britain Over Last Five Years, Survey Says
Knowledge about HIV transmission has decreased in the past five years in Great Britain, according to an Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by the National AIDS Trust, BBC News reports. The survey -- released last week -- finds that in 2005, 79% of people surveyed knew that HIV can be transmitted through unprotected heterosexual sex compared with 91% in 2000. In addition, 73% knew that HIV can be transmitted through contaminated needles, compared with 88% in 2000. The percent of people reporting no knowledge of how HIV is transmitted rose from 6% in 2000 to 8% in 2005. In addition, 7% of people who participated in the 2005 survey incorrectly believed the virus can be transmitted through spitting, 4% incorrectly believed it can be transmitted through kissing and 2% incorrectly believed it can be contracted from toilet seats (BBC News, 4/7). About 40% of respondents said they always use a condom with a new partner, and one in eight said they would ask a new partner to get tested for HIV or another sexually transmitted infection before having sex without a condom. In London, an area which has the highest HIV prevalence in the country, 70% of residents knew that HIV can be transmitted through unprotected heterosexual sex and 57% believe the virus can be transmitted through contaminated needles. The survey also indicates that people who know more about the disease tend to be less prejudiced toward HIV-positive people (NAT release, 4/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.