Here’s a slightly belated story for World AIDS Day.

I was in Tesco the other day—in the cheese aisle, though I don’t think it’s significant—when I overheard a mother and child talking.

‘… HIV’s genetic, innit.’
‘So I couldn’t catch it?’ asked the child.
‘Nah, you have to be born with it.’

I was astonished that anyone could have been left completely unmarked by the last two decades of concerted education about AIDS. I was even more amazed that anyone so breathtakingly ignorant could actually be cognisant of the word ‘genetic’.