Scientists have discovered a new, more virulent strain of HIV which progresses ...
A Conservative MP was hit with abusive tweets after she posted a video encouraging people to get tested for HIV.
Maria Caulfield said she had just got a test for the virus and said it was "quick and easy to do so". She noted that "viruses don't discriminate - anyone can get HIV" and added that treatments for it in the case of a positive result were "excellent".
It is also National HIV Testing Week, a campaign run by the charity Terrence Higgins Trust encouraging people to get tested.
A statement by the charity reads: "Regular HIV testing also helps to reduce the number of people living with undiagnosed and those diagnosed late. This is vital as 1 in 20 people with HIV are unaware they have it, increasing the risk of passing it on to sexual partners. Additionally, 42 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV in 2020 were diagnosed late—at this point, the virus has already started to damage your immune system."
But despite the compelling evidence, numerous people replied to Caulfield's tweet spreading conspiracy theories about the coronavirus vaccines and misinformation about the ways in which HIV is transmitted:
Let me guess, Pfizer is developing a "vaccine" for HIV?
— Yep my name is Guy \ud83d\ude0a\ud83c\udf38 (@Yep my name is Guy \ud83d\ude0a\ud83c\udf38)
Oh another 2030 agenda? Why the hell would anyone want to test for HIV? What the hell is wrong with you?
— Fly me to the moon (@Fly me to the moon)
Anyone can get HIV? I'm married and faithful to my wife as she is to me. I don't use intravenous drugs or engage in risky sexual behaviour. How can I get infected other than through medical "NEGLIGENCE"?
— D O'Negal Gab @D_O_Negal (@D O'Negal Gab @D_O_Negal)
See. They\u2019re trying to normalise it. \n\nIt must have come from the cure.https://twitter.com/mariacaulfield/status/1490740201488007175\u00a0\u2026
As well as the abuse, Caulfield also received messages of support and was defended by people who agreed that testing is important:
The replies to this are so bleak. I wouldn\u2019t recommend reading them but I will say that, while obviously not all demographics are equally at risk, straight people are now being diagnosed at a higher rate than gay people. Rates of late diagnosis are higher among straight peoplehttps://twitter.com/mariacaulfield/status/1490740201488007175\u00a0\u2026
Worked lots on HIV and never seen anything like the response here. Many/most reactions obv coordinated & sinister but worth thinking about how the polarisation and negative associations of the past few years might have led to fatigue with / resentment of testing and public healthhttps://twitter.com/mariacaulfield/status/1490740201488007175\u00a0\u2026
The replies indicate something I've been worried about for a few years now - people's susceptibility to dogma has become so prominent that any information they receive is filtered through the narrow lense of a world view programmed by charlatans.https://twitter.com/mariacaulfield/status/1490740201488007175\u00a0\u2026
“Anyone can get HIV and we all have a part to play in ending HIV transmission. Knowing your status will allow you to access appropriate prevention or treatment.
“This is why moments like National HIV Testing Week are so important – to raise awareness of the issue and direct people to the right support."
“I’m determined to tackle the stigma which still surrounds HIV and AIDS and I want everyone to know that testing for HIV is quick and easy - you can go to a sexual health clinic, your GP, to a HIV and sexual health charity or order a test online.”Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.