FACT UP ABOUT HIV THIS WORLD AIDS DAY.
This World AIDS Day (1 Dec), NAT (National AIDS Trust) is calling on the nation to #FactUp about the modern realities of living with HIV in the UK.
The HIV campaigning charity has identified five facts which highlight how different living with HIV is today from when the virus was first discovered 30 years ago - and it is on a mission to get everyone to learn them.
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive, NAT said: "The situation for someone who is diagnosed with HIV today is a world away from that faced by someone who was diagnosed in the 80s. However people's understanding just hasn't kept pace.
"In the UK we still regularly hear HIV being described as a 'deadly' disease and newspapers reporting potential HIV transmission through impossible routes such as spitting - it really is depressing in 2013. In the absence of public awareness campaigns or compulsory sex education it is up to individuals to educate themselves and those around them about HIV."
NAT hopes by learning and passing on these five vital facts people will be less likely to have judgemental and negative attitudes towards people living with HIV and will understand more about what it is actually like to live with the condition.
Misunderstanding and fear about HIV also makes people reluctant to get tested. In the UK currently a quarter of people who have HIV don't know they have it. This can have devastating consequences for their health as well as increasing the risk of onward HIV transmission.
As part of the #FactUp campaign NAT is asking people to take photos and videos of them getting the facts out there - perhaps by holding up a sign, by getting crafty or by putting the fact somewhere you wouldn't expect. See www.hivaware.org.uk and NAT's social media sites for inspiration.
The Five Facts
1. People living with HIV live a normal life span if diagnosed and treated in time
2. There is no job which someone can't do specifically because they have HIV
3. Treatment can mean that people living with HIV are no longer infectious
4. Men and women living with HIV can become parents of an HIV-free baby.
5. BUT people living with HIV still face stigma and discrimination.
To find out more about the Facts and what you can do to support the campaign please visit www.hivaware.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @NAT_AIDS_Trust or Facebook NAT (National AIDS Trust) - and help us #FactUp the nation .
Notes to the Editor:
For further information please contact:
020 7814 6724
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 champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.
www.lifewithHIV.org – a resource for HIV positive people
www.HIVaware.org.uk – what everyone should know about HIV