Forty Years on From the Start of the HIV Epidemic, New Data Reveals People Living With HIV Face Outdated Attitudes and Ongoing Discrimination
Pervasive stigma and prejudice towards people living with HIV continues to persist, according to a new international survey released today on World AIDS Day. Funded by ViiV Healthcare, the global specialist HIV company majority owned by GlaxoSmithKline Plc (“GSK”), with Pfizer Inc. and Shionogi Limited as shareholders, the survey uncovers outdated attitudes and inherent bias amongst the general public towards people living with HIV. An overwhelming majority (88%) of respondents believe there are still negative perceptions towards people living with HIV, even though it can now be effectively managed with antiretroviral (ARV) medication. Concerningly, almost a third (30%) ofpeoplesurveyed incorrectly believe HIV can be transmitted through kissing.
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The survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll, surveyed 5,047 adults across four countries, Australia, Portugal, United Kingdom and United States. Data revealed that over three quarters (76%) of adults who responded are unaware that a person living with HIV who is taking effective treatment cannot pass HIV on to their sexual partners due to the virus being at a level that is undetectable in their blood.1 In recent years, an overwhelming body of clinical evidence has firmly established the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) concept as scientifically sound, yet outdated misconceptions still exist.
This survey reinforces the importance of anti-stigma campaigns such as HIV in View, a collaboration between ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios to establish the largest online photo library of people living with HIV. HIV in View features empowering images that authentically portray the reality of living with HIV today. Far from reflecting the fear once associated with HIV, the gallery is filled with inspiring examples of just how much things have changed for many people living with HIV.
Commenting on the survey results, Silvia Petretti, CEO of Positively UK – a peer led charity which aims to improve health and quality of life for people with HIV – and participant in the photography collaboration said: “Over the past four decades we’ve seen incredible progress in the HIV response yet, as this new survey clearly demonstrates, there are still many misconceptions around HIV. I am proud to have taken part in the HIV in View photography project, to show that people living with HIV can live fulfilling, healthy lives. I hope HIV in View helps people to understand the reality of living with HIV and removes HIV-related prejudice seen in the survey results.”
“The HIV community has made tremendous strides in tackling stigma and bias faced by people living with HIV, yet it is alarming to see the level of misunderstanding and inherent bias uncovered by this new survey,” says Deborah Waterhouse, Chief Executive Officer, ViiV Healthcare. “We often hear from the HIV community that interactions with friends, family, the general public and even healthcare providers sometimes feel fractured due to misinformation, misconceptions and the inherent bias held towards people living with HIV. Our hope is that through anti-stigma campaigns such as HIV in View, we can change the way the world views HIV so that one day, we can finally dismantle pervasive stigma for good.”
Download the gallery here to be a part of changing the way the world views HIV.
About the survey
This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of ViiV Healthcare from October 13-18, 2021 among 5,047 adults ages 18 and older across 4 countries (2,036 adults in U.S., 1,012 adults in UK, 1,005 adults in Australia, 1,004 adults in Portugal). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Kate Senter, Global Corporate and Internal Communications Director at ViiV Healthcare firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editor
The HIV in View collection is available for free under Shutterstock’s standard license to use in projects, campaigns and communications. Users who require the enhanced license will be charged the higher license fee, of which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to (RED), a non-profit organisation helping fund the fight to end AIDS, at the discretion of Shutterstock. For additional information on the license comparison, visit: https://www.shutterstock.com/license-comparison.
Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK), is a leading global creative platform offering full-service solutions, high-quality content, and applications for brands, businesses and media companies. Directly and through its group subsidiaries, Shutterstock's comprehensive collection includes high-quality licensed photographs, vectors, illustrations, videos, 3D models and music. Working with its growing community of over 1.9 million contributors, Shutterstock adds hundreds of thousands of images each week, and currently has more than 390 million images and more than 23 million video clips available.
Headquartered in New York City, Shutterstock has offices around the world and customers in more than 150 countries. The Company also owns PicMonkey, a leading online graphic design and image editing platform; Offset, a high-end image collection; Shutterstock Studios, an end-to-end custom creative shop; PremiumBeat, a curated royalty-free music library; Shutterstock Editorial, a premier source of editorial images and videos for the world's media; TurboSquid, a leading 3D content marketplace; Amper Music, an AI-driven music platform; and Bigstock, a value-oriented stock media offering.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined as shareholders in October 2012. The company’s aims are to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV and AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV.
For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline, and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. For further information please visit https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/about-us/ .
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2020, GSK’s Q3 Results and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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1 National Institutes of Health (NIH). (2019). The science is clear: with HIV, undetectable equals untransmittable. Available at: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/science-clear-hiv-undetectable-equals-untransmittable. Last accessed November 2021
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ViiV Healthcare media enquiries:
Kate Senter, Global Corporate and Internal Communications Director
Madison Goring, Communications and Government Affairs Associate
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