(photo credit: REUTERS)
Seventy percent of HIV carriers do not tell their parents that they were infected with the AIDS virus, according to a survey of the homosexual committee carried out by the Israel Aids Task Force.
In addition, 30% of HIV carriers remain “in the closet” generally, while only 7.4% speak of their condition openly.
The voluntary organization this week opened a new center for anonymous testing in the Florentin quarter of south Tel Aviv. Dr. Zohar Mor of the Health Ministry and Tel Aviv University conducted the survey for Gay Pride Week, at a time when the number of AIDS carriers in the homosexual community has risen. Some 300 HIV carriers and 1,300 whose blood tests were found to be negative (HIV free) participated in the survey.
More than 86% of carriers do not inform their employers that they are carriers, the survey found. Twothirds of carriers have sexual partners who are not infected with HIV.
Sa’ar Maoz, coordinator of social services in the gay community, added that despite “the impressive medical advances in treatment for HIV carriers that has significantly extended their lifespan and provided a higher quality of life, the social stigma and ignorance still exists.
It’s important to provide HIV carriers with an environment in which they feel comfortable and decided to share their medical information.
To carriers who are afraid to reveal it, I say: ‘We at the AIDS Task Force are here for you when you need us.’” Adir Yanko of the task force said that aside from safe sex, it is “important to undergo periodic blood tests for HIV, as the more who are tested, the fewer who will be infected. This saves lives.”
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