“Media stories like this are extremely stigmatising to people living with HIV, perpetuate damaging narratives and spread incorrect information around HIV and its transmission”
BY ELLA GAUCI
Last Friday (15 September) the Daily Mail ran an article claiming that staff at the supermarket chain Iceland had been attacked with needles by shoplifters who had injected them with HIV. After several complaints by HIV charities claiming that this rhetoric was not only implausible but also harmful, the newspaper has since revised this claim.
“Since this article was first published, Iceland has clarified that they provided information to MailOnline in error regarding staff being infected with HIV and the article has been revised accordingly,” is the statement which reads at the top of the article now.
The Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, tweeted: “Important these @MailOnline articles have been updated to remove the false claim three @IcelandFoods colleagues are HIV positive as a result of needle attacks.”
“Disappointing @icelandrichard won’t apologise for sharing a falsehood and how his company sought to weaponise HIV.”
On Wednesday 20 September, the National Aids Trust also released a statement about the claim of Iceland colleagues about being injected with HIV. “We stand in solidarity with any workers who are attacked,” the statement began.
“We are unaware of any cases of HIV having ever been transmitted in this way. Such transmission is almost impossible. The HIV virus is fragile and cannot survive outside a body for a long time,” they continued.
“Media stories like this are extremely stigmatising to people living with HIV, perpetuate damaging narratives and spread incorrect information around HIV and its transmission. We know people have been affected by this article and share the distress it has caused.”
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