Farha Foundation

Farha Foundation

September 10, 2008 16:11 ET

Survey Shows AIDS Awareness in Quebec is Limited at Best

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 10, 2008) - Just ahead of their annual AIDS walk CA MARCHE, The Farha Foundation - Quebec's leading AIDS fundraising organization, released the results of an online poll which highlight the need for increased HIV-AIDS education and awareness.

The survey, which examined HIV-AIDS awareness in Quebec, revealed that fundamental misconceptions about HIV-AIDS remain common, and that most Quebecers are unaware of who the disease affects or that infection rates are still increasing. Due to the small sample size the results of the survey are more qualitative than quantitative, but nonetheless indicate there is still a substantial gap between perception and reality when it comes to HIV-AIDS awareness.

Survey Highlights:

- Only 54% of respondents knew that infection rates among women are greater now than 10 years ago. The proportion of positive HIV test reports affecting women more than doubled from 12% for the 1985-1997 period to 27.8% in 2006

- Only 30% of respondents knew that HIV infection rates among adults aged 50 and over are greater now than 10 years ago. The proportion of positive HIV test reports affecting those aged 50 years or older nearly doubled from 7.6% for the 1985-1998 period to 13.8% in 2006

- Less than half of respondents (46%) believe there are more people living with HIV-AIDS now than 5 years ago. Improved treatments and increasing infection rates mean more people are living with HIV-AIDS than ever before

- Only 81% of respondents answered false when asked if there is a vaccine available to prevent HIV-AIDS. There is no vaccine to protect against HIV

- Only 86% of respondents answered false when asked if HIV-AIDS can be cured if treated early. There is no cure for HIV-AIDS

- 13% of people believe that HIV can be transmitted by mosquito bite. This has been proven to be untrue

- Only 61% and 71% of respondents respectively answered that gay men and injection drug users (IDU) are among the groups most affected by HIV-AIDS. Men who have sex with men (MSM) and IDU are the two group most affected by HIV-AIDS. The vast majority of respondents were not aware that young adults, aboriginals and African Canadians are also among groups most effected by HIV-AIDS.

- Only 28% of respondents agreed that people who have HIV/AIDS should be allowed to serve the public in positions like dentists and nurses

- Only 65% of respondents agreed that people who have HIV/AIDS should be allowed to serve the public in positions like hairstylists or personal trainers

- 85% feel they are moderately or very knowledgeable about HIV-AIDS

- 26% of respondents know or have known someone with HIV-AIDS

"The results of this survey show that education and awareness events continue to be necessary in the fight against HIV-AIDS," said Evelyn Farha, Honourary President, Farha Foundation. "CA MARCHE was started over 15 years ago to shed light on the HIV-AIDS epidemic in Quebec. As an awareness event the walk remains as relevant today as it was when then."

A copy of the complete survey results is available upon request.

About CA MARCHE

CA MARCHE is a 7 km fundraising and awareness walk held annually by the Farha Foundation since 1993. CA MARCHE is the single largest AIDS fundraising event in Quebec, and is the most important event for the Farha Foundation and its 48 partner organizations. To register for CA MARCHE or to make a donation please visit www.camarche.ca.

About the Farha Foundation

The Farha Foundation is Quebec's leading AIDS fundraising organization, committed to help men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS. The events organized by the Farha Foundation also serve to sensitize the population to the AIDS epidemic.

Since 1992, the Farha Foundation has distributed over $7.3 million to some 70 AIDS organizations throughout Quebec providing care and services (housing, medication, food, palliative care, counselling, homecare, etc.) as well as AIDS prevention and education programs. A volunteer advisory committee screens which organizations the Foundation funds, and then follows up to ensure the funds are being put to the best possible use.

www.farha.qc.ca

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