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Survey Shows Uptick in Discomfort in Interacting With Barbers, Teachers and Co-workers Living With HIV


The GLAAD HIV Stigma Survey also showed big differences in HIV knowledge among generations.

The proportion of Americans who report that they would be uncomfortable interacting with a barber or hairstylist, teacher or co-worker living with HIV increased from last year to this year, according to the 4th annual GLAAD State of HIV Stigma Survey.

When asked about interacting with a barber or hair stylist who is living with HIV, 37% of the respondents to the 2022 survey indicated that they were strongly or somewhat uncomfortable about that in given situations. The proportion edged up to 41% among the 2023 respondents.

Similarly, the proportion of those strongly or somewhat uncomfortable about interacting with a teacher living with HIV increased from 29% in 2022 to 33% in 2023 and with a co-worker, those indicating discomfort increased from 29% in 2022 to 33% in 2023.

The survey also found a decrease in those who believe that everyone should get tested for HIV in the lifetime from 70% in 2022 to 65% in 2023.

The online survey was conducted in February 2023 and had just over 2,500 respondents. The results were weighted to reflect the U.S. population. GLAAD identifies itself as the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer media advocacy organization in the world. The survey results were published Sept. 6. Gilead Sciences helped support the survey.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD

“This report shows an urgent need to accelerate bridging all the gaps — generational, knowledge, empathy and understanding — to end HIV stigma,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the GLAAD, said in a prepared statement. “As classrooms in states with rising HIV rates increasingly become anti-LGBTQ battlegrounds, accurate lifesaving information about HIV must reach young people through news and entertainment, as well as through our own stories we share.”

The survey also showed major generational differences in people’s belief about their knowledge of HIV, with 62% of those in Generation X (people born in 1965 through 1980) indicating that they were knowledgeable about HIV compared to just 34% of those who identified as being in Generation Z (people born in 1997 through 2012).

The survey results showed that an increasing number of Americans have seen stories about real people living with HIV. The survey showed that 30% of the respondents had seen people living with HIV on television and 19%, in the movies.

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