Kay Burley criticised for describing Soho sexual health centre as an ‘Aids clinic’ following leak of 780 patients' HIV-positive status

LGBT health campaigners have criticised the 'outdated' term

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Sky News journalist Kay Burley was criticised after describing a sexual health centre in Soho as an ‘Aids clinic’ following the accidental disclosure of 780 patients’ HIV status.

56 Dean Street has apologised after accidentally CC-ing in the names and email addresses of 780 HIV positive patients in what is thought to be the biggest data breach of its kind.

Burley was criticised for using ‘dated’ terminology on Twitter while covering the clinic’s apology. Though several people attempted to explain why HIV was a more preferable term to AIDs, Burley insisted she was correct.

Patrick Strudwick, LGBT Editor for Buzzfeed UK, explained to her that the word ‘aids’ isn’t even used by doctors anymore, who favour the term ‘Late-stage’ or ‘advanced HIV’.

Matthew Hodson, Chief Executive of gay men’s health charity GMFA, told The Independent that it is important to distinguish between the two.

"AIDS remains a particularly emotive term," he said. "People with HIV can lead full, productive lives and if diagnosed in time can have a normal life-expectancy.

"The stigma around HIV, much of it related to the fear of AIDS, discourages testing and can itself contribute to poorer health for people with HIV."

He added that due to significant improvements in HIV treatment, it is “comparatively rare” for anyone in the UK to receive an AIDS diagnosis.

Hodson added that in 2013, there were 6,000 HIV cases diagnosed in the UK and only 320 AIDS diagnoses.

 

Comments