KAY Burley has once again caused a Twitter row after she referred to a sexual health centre as an aids clinic.
Referring to the accidental disclosure of 780 patients’ HIV status at the Soho site, the Sky News broadcaster posted on Twitter: “Aids clinic which revealed patients names: Clearly this is completely unacceptable. We are urgently investigating how this has happened.”
Aids campaigners criticised the former Beech Hill resident, arguing that HIV and Aids are not interchangeable terms and the clinic sees patients with other conditions.
Patrick Strudwick, LGBT editor for Buzzfeed UK, explained to her that the word ‘Aids’ isn’t even used by doctors anymore, who favour the term ‘late-stage’ or ‘advanced HIV’.
And Matthew Hodson, chief executive of gay men’s health charity GMFA, told The Independent that it is important to distinguish between the two, saying: “People with HIV can lead full, productive lives and if diagnosed in time can have a normal life-expectancy. The stigma around HIV, much of it related to the fear of aids, discourages testing and can itself contribute to poorer health for people with HIV.”
But Kay appeared unfazed by the uproar, insisting she was correct and retweeted controversial journalist Milo Yiannopoulos who offered her support.
The health centre – 56 Dean Street – apologised after accidentally CC-ing in the names and email addresses of 780 HIV positive patients, in what has been described as the biggest data breach of its kind.
Meanwhile, Kay has hit out at online trolls who slam her, saying: “Online trolls, schmolls, who cares? I say absolutely bring it on. They are just people who are in their mum’s basement drinking white stripe, waiting to be called for their tea.”
She added: “It doesn’t affect me. I‘ve got a fantastic family who are very supportive. I have three Irish setters. Gordon my eldest is always waiting for me at the door when I come in and says ‘Tell me everything mum’.
“Things come out the wrong way all the time but you just have to get on the horse and carry on galloping.”