48.2% of those receiving treatment for HIV in the UK are from heterosexual relationships.
That was according to Charlotte Davies, 21, a member of Sheffield Hallam’s Youth Stop Aids group, a youth led movement aiming for a world without AIDS.
The 21-year-old activist said many people still view HIV as a gay related disease and misconceptions about transmission are still common.
She said: “Worldwide it is a women’s issue, as well as men’s, I think it’s definitely important that awareness is raised amongst everyone, not just one group.”
Charlotte also spoke about how people are often scared to even think about HIV, let alone get tested for it.
“I found that even walking around uni in a Youth Stop Aids top, people wouldn’t come near you if you tried to speak to them,” she said.
In order to raise awareness and combat any doubt among people undecided about getting tested, HIV Prevention England (HPE) will promote HIV Testing Week which starts on Saturday 19th November.
According to HPE: “It raises awareness of the importance of HIV testing, as well as increasing opportunities to test – be it in clinical settings, in primary care, through community-based rapid testing or via postal testing.”
Charlotte was also a big supporter of the initiative, saying: “25% of people with HIV in the UK don’t know they have it, so by raising awareness it might make some people think they should get tested.
“It’s not hard at all you can ring and get an appointment the same day. It’s not a death sentence anymore.”