Half of all HIV-positive people have suffered discrimination, a new poll from the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) revealed on Saturday. The charity also found 59 per cent feel unable to talk openly at work about living with HIV.
Although there have been huge breakthroughs in treatment, the publicly remain largely unaware of them, which causes old prejudices against HIV-positive people to live on.
THT chief executive Ian Green said: “The results from our polling are extremely saddening.
“We now have the tools to end HIV transmission here in the UK – a combination of regular testing, PrEP, condoms and treatment as prevention – and it’s vital we continue to ensure people are aware of those tools and know-how and are able to access them.
“However, as ending HIV transmissions in the UK becomes a reality, we must support those living with the virus to thrive and end the stigma they face.
“We must not just focus our efforts on reaching zero transmissions but also zero stigma.”
Pat Harrington of Solidarity commented: "The general public aren't aware of the progress made regarding prevention and treatment of HIV. That's part of the problem which causes unwarranted fear and discrimination. It's important that workplaces and workmates are supportive and accepting of those living with HIV. We use words like discrimination but at heart the alternative way is about empathy, understanding and kindness and everyone needs that."