Public Awareness of AIDS in the Federal Republic of Germany 2008
Knowledge, attitudes and behaviour relating to protection against AIDS
A repeat survey by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), Cologne
Since the mid-1980s, the AIDS education campaign entitled "Don´t give AIDS a chance" has been informing the population of the Federal Republic of Germany about the disease AIDS and other infection risks (www.gib-aids-keine-chance.de).
The principal goal of the campaign is to prevent the further spread of HIV and AIDS. To do so, it is first necessary to achieve a high level of information among the public regarding infection risks, non-risks and possibilities for protection in relation to HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and to maintain this level in the long term. The second objective of the campaign is to help encourage both the motivation to use protection and protective behaviour in risky sexual situations. The third essential concern is to create and stabilise a social climate that is opposed to the stigmatisation and isolation of people with HIV and AIDS.
Since 1987, the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) has been conducting an annual survey entitled "Public Awareness of AIDS" to examine whether and to what extent these goals are being achieved.
The individual issues investigated are as follows:
- How the perception of HIV and AIDS by the public is changing,
- Whether HIV and AIDS are still perceived as being a threat to health,
- Whether and to what extent the public is reached by the campaign´s various education measures and makes use of the information offerings,
- Whether the level of the knowledge necessary for AIDS prevention is being maintained,
- The extent to which people protect themselves against the HI virus by using condoms - particularly including groups of the population that demonstrate relatively risk sexual behaviour, such as 16 to 44 year-old singles or people having several sex partners, and
- Whether people with HIV and AIDS are isolated in the population, or regarded as people in need of attention and assistance.
The present Summary contains the most important results of the repeat survey conducted at the end of 2008. Key indicators are presented in the form of trends.