Lack of HIV/AIDS Awareness Widespread in Singapore Despite Awareness Campaigns, Survey Finds
A lack of basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS is widespread in Singapore despite public awareness campaigns about the disease, according to a recent survey conducted by World Vision, the Straits Times/EarthTimes.org reports. The survey was initiated on World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2007, the Straits Times/EarthTimes.org reports.
According to the survey, one-third of the 705 survey respondents said they believe HIV can be transmitted through mosquito bites and kissing. More than half of the survey respondents also said they did not know HIV can be transmitted through breastmilk. In addition, half of the respondents said they would be uncomfortable around a person living with HIV/AIDS. Although most respondents said they knew the virus cannot be spread by sharing food, more than 50% said they would be reluctant to eat with someone who was HIV-positive, the survey found. The survey also found that one in 11 people said he or she would not take an HIV test even if being HIV-positive was a possibility. More than 80% of the respondents said they knew condoms can prevent HIV transmission, the survey found. Elaine Tan, executive director of World Vision Singapore, said that the survey results "show there is a need to sensitize people to HIV/AIDS before it becomes a silent pandemic" (Tan, Straits Times/EarthTimes.org, 2/2).