A campaign by HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust has been targeted by vandals.
The Can’t Pass It On campaign feature an image of two men lying together along with the message that people on effective HIV treatment with an undetectable viral load can’t pass HIV on – proven by the landmark PARTNER and PARTNER 2 studies.
Posters from the campaign have appeared on billboards and phone boxes across the country, but some have been targeted by unknown vandals who are whiting out the image of two men lying together, in what appears to be a case of homophobia.
‘This vandalism is so sad to see. Whether our posters have been targeted because it features two men in an affectionate embrace or because it’s about HIV, we will not be silenced,” said Ian Green, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust.
“In fact it makes us even more determined to get the message out there that people on effective HIV treatment can’t pass it on.”
This vandalism is so sad to see.
But we won't be silenced when it comes to shouting that people living with HIV and on effective treatment #CantPassItOn. In fact, it makes us want to do it louder and more often.
— Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) July 18, 2019
The campaign comes after a shocking nationwide survey commissioned by Terrence Higgins Trust found that less than one in five (19%) Brits are aware that people on effective HIV treatment can’t pass it on.
Conducted by YouGov, the survey also found that almost half (48%) of Brits would feel uncomfortable kissing someone living with HIV – even though there is zero risk of transmission through kissing.
“Despite medical progress, public attitudes towards HIV are firmly stuck in the past,” Ian continued.
“That’s exactly why it’s so important to remove the fear and misinformation about HIV by celebrating the fact that thanks to effective treatment people like Sadiq, who is featured in our poster, are living normal and healthy lives and cannot pass the virus on.
“We have been heartened to see supporters offsetting the damage caused to the posters by sharing information about our Can’t Pass It On campaign. If everyone knew the facts on HIV we could not only end HIV stigma, we could end new HIV transmissions.”
You can find out more about Terrence Higgins Trust and the Can’t Pass It On campaign here.