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SEE WHAT NAT HAS TO SAY ON TOPICS IN HIV AND HIV-RELATED EVENTS

New website unveiled by NAT.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A new website to ensure members of the public have access to accurate and up to date information about HIV has been launched today by NAT (National AIDS Trust).

The website, www.HIVaware.org.uk, has been created by NAT in response to research that shows a lack of understanding among the British public about HIV and the site provides current and trustworthy information to address this.

It draws on the expertise of NAT’s partner in the project, Durex, who have an ongoing commitment in the UK to improve sexual health and help raise awareness and understanding of HIV.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments:
‘It is extremely important for people to have access to current and trustworthy information so they know how to protect themselves and others from HIV infection. We also know there is a link between being aware of the facts and the attitude you hold towards people living with HIV, so this is also a way of breaking down stigma and prejudice. 

'We asked Durex to help us with the website as they were able to bring so much to the partnership and we have worked successfully with them before. They have vast experience in consumer and digital campaigns on sexual health. We were delighted when they agreed to work with us to create www.HIVaware.org.uk.’

Ipsos MORI research commissioned by NAT earlier this year revealed that, overall; the general public’s knowledge about HIV is declining, with people unsure of routes of transmission, how to protect themselves and the reality of HIV in the UK today.

This is reinforced by the recent findings of the House of Lords HIV and AIDS Select Committee, whose report on HIV and AIDS in the UK was published this month. The report highlighted that HIV and AIDS remains one of the most serious public health issues and that a campaign to combat ignorance and the stigma of HIV is needed.

‘HIV is a huge issue in the UK but a significant amount of the information about HIV available online is incorrect, incomplete or out of date’, says Deborah Jack.

One in five of UK adults do not realise HIV is transmitted through sex without a condom between a man and a woman, and knowledge of this fact has fallen by 11% in the last decade. In addition, one in ten people incorrectly believe HIV can be transmitted through routes such as kissing (9%) and spitting (10%), and these figures have doubled since 2007 (from 4% and 5% respectively).

Charles Shepherd, Head of Health Promotion at Durex, said:
‘We have a strong working relationship with NAT and, like them; we are committed to improving sexual health in the UK. We were very happy to work with them and share our broad expertise to bringwww.HIVaware.org.uk to fruition and to help promote it to the widest possible audience.

‘HIVaware provides clear and reliable information for the general public. We believe it can have a major positive impact on the sexual health of the nation and help address the worrying gap in awareness and understanding of HIV. We trust that our work with NAT ensures it is widely used and benefits many people in the UK.’

NAT and Durex are also working together to deliver an educational resource for healthcare professionals that will help them to communicate with the general public about HIV. It will be launched on World AIDS Day (1 December).

- Ends -

Notes to the editor:

For further information please contact:

Charli Scouller
Communications Manager
NAT
020 7814 6733
press@nat.org.uk

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.
www.nat.org.uk

NAT would like to thank the Bonita Trust and Anglo American Group Foundation for helping fund their public education and awareness work.

Durex is the world’s number one condom brand, and carries out a range of health promotion initiatives to encourage safer and better sex