46% of people living with HIV do not know they have it. Stigma surrounding HIV remains one of the biggest reasons people are not testing. 

To mark World AIDS Day (1 December 2015) HIV charity AVERT has launched an animation to help people overcome fears and worries about HIV – something which is stopping millions of people from getting tested for the virus.

Yesterday they launched their Stand Up to HIV campaign to challenge people to overcome their fear of HIV. They want to encourage testing for HIV by promoting knowledge of the facts about HIV and living with the virus and by challenging HIV stigma. With World AIDS Day (1st December) just around the corner, we must all support others to stand up to fear, stand up to HIV and get tested.

Avert recognises that HIV stigma is a huge barrier to getting tested. To tackle this they have developed a new webpage that talks people through the most common concerns regarding HIV. We have also launched an animation to help people overcome their fears of HIV and worries about HIV. Both of these resources tackle common worries expressed by users of our online information service, AVERT.org, and encourage people to prioritise their health over their fears.

AVERT Chief Executive, Sarah Hand, says:

“We regularly hear from people in all parts of the world who are still worried about the HIV test itself, what people might think of them, or of getting a positive diagnosis.

“The reality is that fear stops people from getting the help they need. With this campaign we aim to change this and ensure people are empowered to take action to protect their health and drive down new infections. We want to let people know that testing is quick, easy and confidential and that treatment means HIV-positive people can live a healthy life. Knowing the facts will encourage people to take their health in their own hands and get tested”.

You can support the ‘Stand Up to HIV’ campaign on Facebook and Twitter, by sharing the animation and ‘I’m worried about HIV’ webpage, and help spread the information people need to overcome their fears and get tested.

AVERT developed the Stand Up to HIV campaign in support of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment target, which highlights HIV stigma as one of the major barriers to ending the AIDS epidemic.