World aids day

Greens demand public apology to 80's HIV generation

On World Aids Day, The Green Party is demanding for those who were infected with HIV when it came to Sweden in the 1980's to receive an official apology from the government for the "insults they received from society and its institutions".   

"The violations resulted in prejudice and suspicion against HIV infection that persists to this day," writes Gunvor G Ericson, Green Party public health policy spokesperson in a statement.

Since 1982, about 10,000 Swedes have been infected with HIV.

Today it is World AIDS Day, and about 6,000 Swedes are currently living with HIV. Worldwide, 35 million people are affected by HIV or AIDS.

Gunvor G Ericson believes that the violations LGBT people were subjected to when HIV was a new disease has affected their health.

"There was a time when many people suffered from the stigma that existed around HIV, and it especially affected the group's health. The Public Health Institute conducted a study showing that LGBT people have poorer health than average - and that depends not only on HIV infections, but it is precisely due to the stigma and violations that have been around to many in this group", she said to news agency TT.

The Greens also want to remove the information requirements for HIV, which means that those infected are obligated to inform their partners and others who may be at risk of becoming infected.

"Both parties have a responsibility to protect themselves in a sexual relationship. This information secrecy makes people reluctant to get tested", says Gunvor G Ericson to TT.

The present Swedish government has no plans for a public apology.

"No, there are no such plans. From our side it is a huge concern that a new report from the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control which shows that 20 percent of the Swedish public does not know how HIV is transmitted," says Göran Hägglund's press officer Johan Ingerö.

"Information efforts must be much better, but to be stuck in the 80's does not help anyone. A lot of mistakes were committed then, but the mistakes were based on the knowledge available at the time, and that knowledge was not much", Johan Ingerö says to TT.