A recent domestic report on Koreans’ awareness towards HIV-AIDS reflected widespread negative perceptions and lack of knowledge about the disease.
The report, published on Wednesday by the Korean Alliance to Defeat Aids and Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that a large number of Koreans had ungrounded biases toward HIV-AIDS.
Out of the 1,000 men and women aged between 15 and 59 that were surveyed, 35 percent -- one in three respondents -- believed HIV-AIDS could be spread by mosquitoes.
Many gave the wrong answers to questions related to sharing food and public toilets, and on epidermal contact such as kissing or shaking hands.
Among the respondents, 75.6 percent said HIV-AIDS were mostly transmitted through prostitution, while 74.4 percent said people with HIV-AIDS lead promiscuous sex life.
Seven out of ten respondents said they will have difficulty getting along with HIV-positive neighbor.
The report said only 0.6 percent of the respondents had actual experience in meeting an HIV-positive person.
KCDC is concerned that the widespread misconception toward AIDS may discourage people from learning about the disease. It said that once under control, the disease is merely a kind of chronic illness that is non-life threatening.
The level of AIDS awareness was highest in the 40s age group which scored an average of 68.9 points. Following close behind were those in their 50s with 67.6 points and those in their 30s with 66.9 points. Those in their 30s and 20s scored 66.9 points and 63.8 points, respectively. Those between 10 and 19 years old had the lowest score of 55.9 points.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)