World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


1/3 Of Adults In Rich Nations Are Ignorant On AIDS


One-third of adults in rich nations are ignorant about AIDS, UN-backed study finds

In what should serve as a wake-up call ahead of World AIDS Day, a new United Nations-backed survey shows that about one third of the people in seven wealthy nations admit they know little or nothing about the global HIV and AIDS crisis, and 25 per cent believe problems associated with the epidemic are "greatly exaggerated" by the media.

The Global AIDS Attitudes Survey, published by the non-governmental organization World Vision, reveals the awareness and attitudes of populations in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States - all members of the "Group of Eight" industrialized nations - towards those affected by HIV and AIDS globally.

Speaking at the launch of the Survey at UN Headquarters, the Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in New York underlined that "the more we understand the epidemic, the better we can make policies, the better we can make programmes.

"The contribution from World Vision and [global polling firm] Ipsos provides the kind of insight that helps us to understand this epidemic in a way that makes the efforts that are required to be more effective," Bunmi Makinwa added.

Among the main findings of the Survey is that the more people know about HIV and AIDS globally, the more concerned they are about the issue and the more compassionate they are towards those directly affected by it.

The World Vision "Index of Concern," a tool for understanding the level of concern each country feels towards the issue, finds that Canada leads the seven nations surveyed for the highest level of empathy its residents feel toward those affected by HIV and AIDS globally, with Japan ranking last. The others in order are France, Germany, US, Italy and UK.

In addition, concern about HIV and AIDS globally is "on par" with the war in Iraq. At the same time, poverty and hunger, climate change, and terrorism are of greater concern to people than HIV and AIDS or the Iraq war.

"After more than 25 years - more than a quarter of a century - of news coverage, education and prevention work, about one third of the people that we surveyed in the seven countries from this report admit that they know little or nothing about AIDS - one in three in the wealthiest nations in the world," said Richard Stearns, President of World Vision US.

"In the United States that represents about 70 million adults that say they know little or nothing about HIV and AIDS or its impact," he added.

Noting that the Survey does contain "some element of hope," he pointed out that 80 per cent of people believed their governments should do much more to help children who are orphaned by AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses.

In addition, 44 per cent are willing to pay more in taxes to help fund prevention, treatment, research and care; that number was 50 per cent in the US.

Another "astounding" statistic is that 9 out of 10 people surveyed believed that the global community has a moral obligation to respond to the AIDS crisis, he said. "The vast majority of people think their governments and individuals globally should be responding decisively to turn the tide and come to the aid of people living with HIV and AIDS."

As to why so many people admit to knowing little or nothing about the problem, he said the answer is simple. "For those millions of people the disease HIV is simply not real. It's not personal. It is somebody else's problem and somebody else's disease, and very often in a place very, very far away and remote from their everyday lives."

In response, the challenge is to make HIV/AIDS more real to the public, "to put a face on the disease" that kills 2.1 million people every year.

"AIDS will only become real, it will only become important when we see past the statistics," he stated.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news