The UK Health Security Agency’s ‘Positive Voices Survey 2022’, completed by 4,618 people living with diagnosed HIV, found that most (91.7 per cent) were satisfied with their current treatment plan.
However, one in 25 respondents reported having been verbally harassed because of their HIV status in the past year, and a similar proportion felt that family members had made discriminatory remarks.
One in three reported low self-esteem because of their HIV status; one in seven worried about being treated differently from other patients by healthcare staff; and almost half (45.1 per cent) reported feeling ashamed about their diagnosis.
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “It is good that people living with HIV are pleased with the level of care they have been given. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff working in council-commissioned sexual health services and their partners.
“However, it is clear that more needs to be done to tackle the high levels of stigma that remain around HIV, which could potentially lead to people being deterred from accessing the support they need.
“We acknowledge we need to reach out to underserved groups, while also developing effective campaigns across the board to raise awareness and reduce stigma.”