Press release №2090
31.07.2018
GMO, HIV, VACCINATION: MYTH AND REALITY

IN BRIEF

  • Most of Russians (79%) consider that genetically modified products are extremely dangerous to health
  • 78% are aware that HIV is a dangerous virus which can pose a threat to human health
  • Vaccines are an effective way to protect against infections, to prevent infectious diseases, according to 72% of Russians

Russians tend to have sober views of GMO, HIV infection and vaccines.

MOSCOW, July 31, 2018. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a survey on Russian knowledge about HIV, GMO and vaccinations. 

Most of Russians (79%) say that genetically modified foods are very dangerous but this is kept secret from the public. Those who share this stance are basically persons with average level of education (84%) and less often those who graduated from school (71%). Every tenth (12%) considers that genetically modified products are not dangerous; this share is higher among those who have incomplete secondary education (20%).

Three-quarters of respondents (78%) know that HIV is a dangerous virus which can progress and threaten human health, it cannot be completely cured and requires special medications. However 8% of respondents say that HIV is ordinary, many people are HIV-infected and it does not influence their state of health and does not require any medications. Among those who have secondary education this share is 12%. A further 5% consider that HIV does not exist and it was specially invented.

Vaccines are an effective way to protect against infections, according to 72% of Russians. This stance is often supported by those who have higher education (75%) and less often by those who did not complete secondary education (63%). Fourteen percent of respondents are confident that vaccination is useless. Every tenth (9%) thinks that vaccines are dangerous and they do more harm than good.

The VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on May 29-30, 2018, and involved 2,000 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.2%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

Which statement do you agree with the most? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Elementary (incomplete secondary) education Secondary education (school, vocational school) Specialized secondary education  (technical school) Incomplete higher (not less than three years in a higher education institution), higher  education
Genetically modified foods (GM foods) are extremely dangerous to health. However this information is hidden from the public.   79 71 84 83 74
Genetically modified foods (GM foods) pose no threat to health 12 20 7 9 15
Don’t know 9 9 9 8 11

 

Which statement do you agree with the most? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Elementary (incomplete secondary) education Secondary education (school, vocational school) Specialized secondary education  (technical school) Incomplete higher (not less than three years in a higher education institution), higher  education
HIV ( (human immunodeficiency virus) does not exist; it was invented   5 7 5 4 6
HIV is a common virus. HIV itself does not influence human health and does not require particular medications 8 10 12 7 7
HIV is a dangerous virus; it can progress and pose a serious danger to health. It cannot be completely cured and requires regular medications 78 78 72 81 79
Don’t know 9 5 11 8 8

 

Which statement do you agree with the most? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)  
  Total respondents Elementary (incomplete secondary) education Secondary education (school, vocational school) Specialized secondary education  (technical school) Incomplete higher (not less than three years in a higher education institution), higher  education
Vaccines are an effective way to protect against infections and prevent infectious diseases. They do more good than harm. 72 63 68 71 75
Vaccines are useless. They do neither good nor harm 14 19 17 12 13
Vaccines are dangerous. They do more harm than good. 9 10 9 10 9
Don’t know 5 8 6 7 3
  Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory.
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