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September 24, 2007

Belief in AIDS Cure May Increase Infection

A doctor in the UK says false beliefs that HIV can be cured are fueling a rise in the youth infection rate there.

Dr. Veerakathy Harindra says that a quarter of his young patients living with HIV believe that a cure has already been found. He attributes these beliefs to misinformation surrounding treatments that have made the disease appear more manageable, and says that these beliefs make young people take fewer precautions to prevent the spread of HIV.

According to the Terrence Higgins Trust, a British HIV/AIDS charity, 70,000 people live with HIV in the UK, up from 30,000 in 2001. In a July poll, the trust found that more than 20 percent of young people aged 18 to 24 thought there was a cure for HIV.

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