Mistake of British Prime Minister over HIV and AIDS illustrates why reporting guidelines are so important

During yesterday’s Downing Street Briefing, the British Prime Minster, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, said that

We haven’t got vaccines against SARS, AIDS or whatever.

The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Downing Street Briefing

This is really not on. He ought to know better. There is no virus called AIDS, the virus is called HIV. The UK’s National Aids Trust’s reporting guidelines state that mixing up HIV with AIDS creates “unhelpful confusion between the two”, as HIV is the virus itself while AIDS is a condition which can be caused by the virus. 

Let’s learn from Boris’s mistake.

HIV Ireland’s Media Reporting Guidelines.

NAT’s Guidelines for reporting HIV (2010).

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