Public Awareness of AIDS in the Federal Republic of Germany 2009
Knowledge, attitudes and behaviour relating to protection against AIDS
A repeat survey by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), Cologne
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 since the mid-1980s (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 connection with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), 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 actual 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 study entitled "Public Awareness of AIDS" to examine whether and to what extent these goals are being achieved.
The individual issues investigated are as follows:
- Trends in the perception of HIV and AIDS by the public,
- Whether and to what extent the population is reached by the campaign´s various education measures and makes use of the information offered,
- The prevailing level of knowledge necessary for preventing AIDS,
- The extent to which people protect themselves against the HI virus by using condoms - particularly including groups of the population displaying relatively risky sexual behaviour, such as 16 to 44 year-old singles or persons 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 help.
The present Summary contains important results of the repeat survey conducted at the end of 2009. Key indicators are presented in the form of trends.