A newly released study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (PDF) shows that the public’s understanding of HIV has hardly changed in 20 years. One out of four Americans still mistakenly believes that HIV can be transmitted by sharing a drinking glass:
And though comfort levels have increased over the past 15 years, the stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS is still incredibly severe. Only half the population would be “very comfortable” having a coworker with HIV or AIDS, and the comfort level numbers decline for teachers, roommates, and cooks:
Most respondents indicate that their primary source of information about HIV/AIDS is the media, including radio, television, newspapers, and the Internet. Though public opinion has been trending towards complacency about the epidemic, concern about infection increased this year for the first time, driven mostly by young adults.
Read the full study for more details, including a look at how communities of color are specifically impacted.