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Scots "lack awareness of HIV risk"

New concerns are being raised about sexually transmitted diseases in Scotland as a study shows people in the country have a "worrying" lack of knowledge about HIV.

The National Aids Trust poll found more than 25% of people do not know all the main ways the disease can be contracted.

Only 69% of Scots said sex without a condom between a man and a woman can potentially pass on HIV. This compares with 93% of people questioned in the south west of England.

Just 61% said blood transfusions can carry HIV, while 65% do not realise unprotected sex between two men can pose a danger.

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust, said: "The lack of awareness and understanding about HIV in Scotland is worrying.

"HIV rates in Scotland continue to rise. These results show we cannot afford to be complacent about HIV education and awareness.

"The Scottish government and local authorities must work together to reinvest in public awareness and information about HIV."

The charity Waverley Care backed the call for ministers to do more, adding: "Until there is a cure for HIV, we need to find every possible way of preventing new transmissions which are costly in individual terms, and costly to treat."

National Aids Trust

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