Study finds 30% of UK adults “need more information about HIV”

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Almost a third of UK adults have said they need more information about HIV, according to a new survey.

34% of men and 26% of women believe they do not know enough about the virus in answers to questions posed online by Durex.

The survey also demonstrates a high proportion of people not using condoms or taking other recommended measures to protect themselves.

Half of the respondents admitted not using a condom when they lost their virginity. 15% said they were in casual relationships at the time.

One in seven respondents said they did not know if their partner had ever had a sexually transmitted infection.

This week, the Health Protection Agency released its 2010 figures showing a record number of new HIV infections.

The National AIDS Trust say the results echo findings of a recent Ipsos MORI research which showed public knowledge about HIV was in decline.

Durex and NAT have created two new web resources for World AIDS Day to provide information on the subject.

NAT has produced content for the Durex-designed site, HIV Aware.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT said: “This website is designed to help people find out everything they should know about HIV.

“One problem we have found with other websites is that they are not updated very regularly and often include incomplete, out of date or inaccurate information.

“We have committed to ensure that all of the information on HIVaware is kept completely up to date so people can visit the site and be confident that they are getting the latest, reliable information.”

The second resource is aimed at healthcare professionals and is to be launched during World AIDS Day.

Visitors to the DurexHCP website’s new HIV section will be able to find out information about HIV diagnosis and treatment as well as social and work-related issues that could arise.

A key element of the section is an educational resource that means doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals can test and improve their knowledge about the condition.

Charles Shepherd, head of health promotion for Durex, said: “It is important that correct information about HIV is available to the public and healthcare professionals to ensure that people are kept informed and able to protect themselves.

“These two web resources should help to ensure that the general public and healthcare professionals alike can access information knowing that it has been produced by NAT and is therefore reliable and up to date.”

1016 people were questioned in the UK as part of an international online survey.