54% of Canadians aged 18-54 don't know their HIV status MONTREAL, Dec. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - As Canadians mark the 29 th World AIDS Day, a day for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died - a new issue of concern has appeared. An omnibus survey conducted by Ipsos in October found that youth 18-29 who were sexually active with one or more partners over the past 12 months were more likely to be at risk for acquiring HIV than the older Canadians in the study (ages 30-54). This is likely as a result of having had multiple partners in the past 12 months, and being unaware of the status of all their partners. Among their beliefs was that good hygiene would prevent becoming infected with HIV, as was the belief that they knew their partner well enough not to think they needed to get tested. More than half of respondents surveyed had never been tested for HIV. i Thus, complacency and a lack of awareness, especially among young sexually active people stands to pose the greatest risk in the fight against HIV/AIDS. According to 2014 data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, 474 youth between the ages of 15 and 29 were diagnosed with HIV, representing nearly one-quarter (23%) of all new HIV diagnoses that year. ii "We're seeing the rate of new HIV diagnoses decreasing in Canada. However, there is a real danger of moving backwards in our progress if we become complacent in assessing our own personal risks of infection," said Christopher Bunting, President and CEO of The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). "Although advances in medical treatment have made a profound impact on outcomes and quality of life, our concern now is that complacency will prevent people from taking the appropriate steps to have safe sex, particularly among population groups that are most affected by HIV." "This data supports our belief that Canadians must become more aware of the risk factors involved in contracting HIV, and the need to know their HIV status and that of their prospective sexual partners," Mr. Bunting concluded.