An online questionnaire of attitudes towards HIV has been established. The Barometer Survey, a joint project of the National Centre of HIV Social Research (NCHSR) at the University of NSW and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, aims to examine the stigma and discrimination experienced by people affected by HIV.
HIV bodies across Australia are concerned that discrimination is still very much part of the lives of positive people.
NCHSR director Professor John de Wit said although there is already evidence sexual rejection and discrimination against people living with HIV occurs, little is known about other forms of stigma, such as avoidance, exclusion and blame.
“This first-ever study of its kind in Australia will address a long-overdue need,” de Wit said.
“This study will also provide us with more information about the so-called sero-divide, between HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay men by examining expectations of disclosure of HIV status and reliance on this practice as an HIV prevention strategy.”
Anyone, regardless of HIV status, can complete the 10-minute survey.
Forty-five percent of respondents to a NSW 2008 Galaxy Research survey of people aged 18-29 believed HIV can be contracted from a mosquito bite in areas where HIV is prevalent. Twelve percent believed sharing household utensils puts people at high risk of HIV.
info: Take the survey at
www.afao.org.au/barometer

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