A new survey indicates that young Singaporeans are pretty clueless about HIV prevention. Or perhaps it indicates that Singaporeans can’t count.
According to The Straits Times, the state’s Health Promotion Board asked close to 1,800 Singaporeans how HIV could be prevented. Apparently, almost half of them didn’t know that consistent condom use prevents HIV infection.
We’ll have to take the paper’s word for it, because the survey is not mentioned on the Health Promotion Board’s website. But I’m reluctant to do that, because the paper also gives us this nice graphic:
Does this make you at all suspicious? Leave aside that there’s no mention of drug injection; the numbers don’t add up even for methods of preventing sexual transmission. Over 82% mention being faithful to one partner, hoping, presumably that the partner in question stays faithful too. Next in the ABC list comes abstinence, at 75%. So how is it possible that 80% know at least two of the three ways that Singapore promotes as ways to prevent HIV?
I guess I’m trying to find fault with the study in part because I don’t want to believe that Singaporeans, by far the most educated population in Southeast Asia, can possibly be this clueless. Probably not a comment I should make a few days before I visit the country, but really…
Thanks to David Fox for the pointer.