Strong bias persists against HIV victims

Source: The New Paper
31 October 2008

SURVEY SAYS:
Strong bias persists against HIV victims

SINGAPOREANS are aware about HIV, but they are less accepting of people with the disease, according to a survey released by the Health Promotion Board (HPB).

1,768 respondents were surveyed. They were divided into three age-groups: 18 to 29, 30 to 49, and 50 to 69.

Out of the respondents, 314 were considered to be at-risk.

This group consists of:

  • Men who have sex with men
  • People with multiple sex partners
  • People who engage in commercial or non-commercial sex, like one-night stands

According to the results, four in five Singaporeans have a high knowledge level of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) prevention.

But only about one in five said they would share a meal with a person with HIV.

Only one in five said they would buy food from a hawker with HIV.

When it comes to sharing a meal with a person with HIV, those aged 18 to 29 were most accepting, and 27 per cent from this group were willing to do so.

Only 16 per cent of those aged 50-69 were willing to do the same.

In terms of educational level, those with university degrees were most accepting of sharing a meal with someone whom they knew was HIV-positive.

About 36 per cent were willing to do so, compared to about 17 per cent of those with an educational level of PSLE and below.

Latest figures from the Ministry of Health show that there were 3,483 Singaporeans with HIV as of end 2007 .

To commemorate World Aids day on 1 Dec, HPB is organising an edu-tainment concert in Fort Canning Park on 29 Nov called Love Amplified. Performers include Stefanie Sun and Singapore Idol Hady Mirza among others.

For more information, please visit http://www.loveamp.sg.

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