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For World AIDS Day, GLAAD Releases Sweeping HIV Stigma Study

World AIDS Day
Photo by Luis Quintero

Nearly 90 percent of Americans believe HIV bias remains in society.

To commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1, GLAAD released their 2022 State of HIV Stigma Study, which included some encouraging findings. This four-page study, which has been tracking HIV stigma annually since 2020, focused on Americans’ attitudes and knowledge of HIV.

Findings from the study showed around 87 percent of adults agree there is still stigma around HIV. At that, only half of those surveyed felt knowledgeable about HIV.

The study was conducted online in February 2022 and sampled 2,536 U.S. adults 18 and over. CINT, the world’s largest consumer network for digital survey-based research, collected and sourced the samples.

This year, 43 percent of adults felt more comfortable interacting with HIV-positive people, up from 36 percent when the report first started two years ago. There’s also been increased understanding of PrEP benefits for preventing HIV and a growing understanding of undetectable equals untransmittable (U=U), which means an HIV-positive person adhering to an antiretroviral regimen cannot pass the virus to another individual.

Although there’s still much stigma around HIV, 1 in 3 Americans say they’ve seen stories about HIV-positive people in the media within the last 12 months.

Additionally, there has been a decrease in belief that “only certain groups of people can get HIV.” Thirty-two percent of people think HIV is drug-related, down from 44 percent in 2020. Thirty-three percent of people believe it mostly impacts the LGBTQIA+ communities, down from 36% last year.

In a press release, GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, said, “GLAAD’s study notes where we have made progress and where we need to dramatically accelerate public health messaging about HIV and visibility about HIV in the media for it to be understood as the treatable, untransmittable and preventable condition that it is.”

The report was funded by the Gilead COMPASS Initiative and comes on the heels of GLAAD’s “Invisible People” report in October.

GLAAD has also been chosen for the first time as Playbill’s charitable partner in presenting Remember the Ribbon: A Tribute to World AIDS Day.

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