Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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New survey shows majority of British public supports government overseas funding for HIV/AIDS

1
DEC
2011

Aids Alliance

A public perceptions survey conducted by Ipsos MORI and commissioned by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance has found that nearly three quarters (73%) of the British public think it is important that the UK government maintain its spending on HIV programmes overseas.

See the full results of the survey here

A significant proportion of people (76%) also believe that HIV positive women should have the right to have children born free of HIV and over half (60%) are keen for the UK government to give aid to help women in developing countries to give birth to children without HIV. 

“We are pleased to see the importance the British public are placing on supporting HIV/AIDS interventions overseas; their belief that women have the right to have children born free of HIV; and the level of importance they place on UK government HIV/AIDS assistance overseas, particularly in such difficult economic times,” said Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. “We know that funding from the UK government for HIV/AIDS is decreasing but there is clearly public support that it is maintained.”

This World AIDS Day, the Alliance is highlighting the impact that HIV has on women and girls who are at higher risk of acquiring HIV. Despite the fall in global levels of HIV infection, the number of women living with HIV has increased in every region of the world. There is a critical need to act decisively on the scientific know-how and the evidence of strong community involvement to deliver effective maternal and child healthcare. Click here to read about a one-year Alliance/UK aid project on HIV and maternal healthcare in four countries.

Only a limited proportion (28%) of the public think most  people in developing countries can access treatment and there are divided views on whether Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) exists, with 41% thinking there are effective ways of preventing transmission of HIV from mother to child, compared to 47% who  do not.

Most people think that the problem of HIV/AIDS in developing countries has either stayed the same (39%) or got worse (33%) over the last few years. Only one in five (18%) think it has got better over the last few years but a larger proportion (26%) think it will get better over the next few years.

While caring about HIV/AIDS in developing countries the survey did highlight that nearly half (45%) of the public did not necessarily want to hear more about it.

“We have made significant progress in providing treatment and reducing the numbers of people dying from AIDS related illnesses. The British public need to know that the interventions being made on tackling HIV/AIDS overseas are making a difference.

For the first time we have within our grasp the possibility of eliminating new HIV infections in children. There is clearly widespread support from the British public to make that a reality,” said Bermejo.

“It is critical that the UK government capitalises on this public support,  demonstrates strong political commitment to provide HIV prevention, treatment and care in developing countries and show leadership to meet the global UN pledge of universal access by 2015,” he said.