Canadians top global AIDS poll as most concerned, compassionate



    Ipsos Reid/World Vision survey released today at launch of 24-hour global
    vigil attended by Premier Dalton McGuinty

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - Canadians are the most compassionate towards
people affected by HIV and AIDS globally compared to six other countries,
according to the new World Vision Index of Concern which was released today
leading up to World AIDS Day.
    Canada leads the seven nations surveyed for the highest level of empathy
its residents feel toward those affected by HIV and AIDS globally, followed by
France, Germany, United States, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan, all
members of the G8.
    Canadians also scored highest in their self-assessed knowledge about AIDS
globally. Seventy-one per cent claim to have "some" or "a lot" of knowledge
about the global HIV and AIDS issue.
    The World Vision Index of Concern is a proprietary index that combines
into one measure six facets of concern about HIV and AIDS globally and is
based on a seven-country survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of World
Vision, the international humanitarian organization. The more people feel they
know about HIV and AIDS globally, the more concerned they are about the issue
and the more compassion they have for those directly affected by it, according
to the survey. However, more than 25 years after the HIV virus was first
discovered, one-third of those surveyed in the seven countries admit they know
little or nothing at all about the global HIV and AIDS issue.
    The results were released during the kick-off of a 24-hour global event
to honour and raise awareness about children affected by the international
AIDS crisis.
    "As Canadians, we can take pride in the fact that we are well informed
and that information translates into measurable compassion for those affected
by AIDS. That compassion is critical in a world where 5,700 adults die of AIDS
each day. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, an estimated 12 million children have
lost one or both parents to the disease," said Dirk Booy, executive vice
president of World Vision Canada. "We need to ask ourselves; what more can we
do?"
    The ceremony was attended by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. "We know we
could never take a parent's place, but we can stand with these children. We
know AIDS is a formidable foe, but we can demonstrate that our hope is
stronger," Premier McGuinty said.
    Remarkably, in each of the seven countries surveyed, nine out of 10
adults agree "even if we cannot prevent more people from being infected with
HIV and AIDS, we have a moral obligation to try."
    "The fact that nine out of 10 people across all seven countries agree on
this issue of a moral obligation is extraordinary," said Dr. Glenys A.
Babcock, vice president of Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.
    More Canadians than any other nationality surveyed agree that they should
play their part, however small, to help those affected by HIV and AIDS (78 per
cent, compared to 74 per cent in the U.S.A., 63 per cent in the U.K. and 62
per cent in Germany).
    "At World Vision, we are grateful for all that Canadians are already
doing in the battle against AIDS, especially for children," said Booy. "We
want to encourage our government to reflect that compassion and care tangibly
by keeping the promises it has made at home and at the G8 summit to contribute
more funding towards global AIDS treatment programs."
    The survey reveals that Canadians want their government to do more:
73 per cent of Canadians agree that the government should do much more to help
children who are orphaned by AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses around the world.
    Toronto children spoke out on behalf of children orphaned by AIDS during
the launch of the vigil - entitled 6,000 Reasons to Act - at the CN Tower this
morning. Students from Keele Street Public School, joined by Premier McGuinty,
read aloud the names of 360 children who have lost one or both parents in
communities hard-hit by AIDS. World Vision has organized similar events in
17 cities in 12 countries over the next 24 hours. By the vigil's conclusion on
Friday morning at 9 a.m. in New York City, the names of 6,000 children will
have been read.
    "Children deserve our best efforts in stemming the tide against the
greatest humanitarian disaster of our time," said Booy. "Today, we've honoured
6,000 orphans living in the shadow of AIDS every day. Surely, we don't need
more reasons to act right now."

    The survey was conducted in September 2007. In each country between 400
and 1002 adults were interviewed by telephone, with a total sample size of
3558 adults. The overall seven-country results are considered accurate to
within +/-1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have
been had the entire adult population in the countries been interviewed. These
data were weighted within each country to ensure that the sample's regional
and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population
according to Census data and so that each country is given equal weight.

    About World Vision

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. Motivated by our Christian faith, we serve all people
regardless of religion, race, gender or ethnicity.
    World Vision has been combating the effects of AIDS in developing
countries for more than a decade. Its first programs helped support Ugandan
orphans and their foster families, provided care for Romanian infants and
children with HIV and helped young Thai women and girls escape prostitution.
Today, World Vision has AIDS programs in many of the nearly 100 countries in
which it works and served nearly 2 million people with HIV-prevention
education and AIDS care and assistance last year. For more information, please
visit WorldVision.ca.

    About Ipsos Reid

    Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country's
leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities,
Ipsos Reid employs more than 300 research professionals and support staff in
Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in
Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels.
Ipsos Reid's Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are
staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific
backgrounds, offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada -
including the Ipsos Trend Report, the leading source of public opinion in the
country - all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant
information. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based
market research group. To learn more, visit www.ipsos.ca




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews with World Vision
staff, please contact: Tiffany Baggetta, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2485, (416)
677-4450 (cell), tiffany_baggetta@worldvision.ca; Sharon Marshall, (905)
565-6200 ext. 2213, (416) 677-4354 (cell), sharon_marshall@worldvision.ca


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