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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 00:06 GMT
Warning over HIV 'ignorance' risk
Cell infected with HIV
More than 280 people in Scotland were diagnosed with HIV in 2006
People in Scotland are the least knowledgeable in the UK about HIV even though the disease rate is continuing to rise, campaigners have warned.

The National Aids Trust has called on the Scottish Government and local authorities to re-invest in a public awareness programme.

More than a quarter of Scots surveyed failed to identify all of the main transmission routes of HIV.

There are now between 4,500 and 5,500 people living with HIV in Scotland.

The figures come in the results of the trust's Public Attitudes to HIV survey.

HIV TRANSMISSION ROUTES
Sex without a condom between a man and a woman
Sex without a condom between two men
Sharing a syringe when injecting drugs
From a breast-feeding mother to her child

Almost a third (31%) of people in Scotland failed to identify sex without a condom between a man and a woman as a way of getting HIV, compared to 21% across the UK.

More than a third (35%) did not know that unprotected sex between two men was a way of transmitting HIV, significantly higher than the UK average of 26%.

The figure failing to identify sharing a syringe was 31%, the same as the UK average.

Roy Kilpatrick, chief executive of HIV Scotland, said: "Respect and Responsibility, the government's sexual health strategy, is at the heart of Scotland's efforts to make this happen.

These results show we cannot afford to be complacent
Deborah Jack
National AIDS Trust

"Change will only happen, however, when we take individual as well as shared responsibility for sexual health."

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust, added: "The lack of awareness and understanding about HIV in Scotland is worrying.

"HIV rates in Scotland continue to rise. These results show we cannot afford to be complacent about HIV education and awareness.

"The Scottish Government and local authorities must work together to re-invest in public awareness and information about HIV."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Aids public information films past and present



SEE ALSO
Fighting against the HIV comeback
17 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Sex health investment announced
16 Jan 08 |  South of Scotland
Record rise in Scottish HIV rates
01 Dec 06 |  Scotland
Complacency warning on Aids day
01 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Huge rise in sexual disease cases
24 Nov 05 |  Scotland
HIV figures reach record number
20 Oct 04 |  Scotland

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