The realistic fear that Ebola envinces derives more from it's fatality rate than it's contagiousness. In fact,there are many infectious diseases that are far more 'contagious' than Ebola. This wonderful graph from the Information is Beautiful describes some common diseases based on how infectious they are (x-axis) and how deadly they are (y-axis).
Ebola is close to what HIV used to be before the advent of triple-therapy cocktails. In the 80s and 90s during pre-treatment era, HIV was actually a bit more contagious, as defined by it's 'basic reproduction ratio' - or the number of people any one person with a disease will infect. In the West Africa Ebola outbreak, the basic reproduction ratio is most likely less than 2. And that pre-treatment HIV virus was also a bit more deadly - though really there's not much good news between a fatality rate of 70% and 80%! And maybe we're looking back at that pre-treatment HIV era through the skewed optimistic lenses of today's good HIV medications, but it does seem that this current epidemic has people more afraid.
Perhaps this fear is due to the rapidity of death - HIV can take years before it destroys the immune system, leaving a long latent period. Or perhaps, it's because Ebola attacks the body so rapidly (less than 21 days!) and so savagely with many patients dying of visible hemorrhage. So as we tackle this current outbreak, it's also useful to remember how awful HIV was in the 80s and 90s how many people suffered. It took lots of activists and scientists to improve the care of HIV. It has and will take a similar effort to battle Ebola - only, much like the Ebola virus we're fighting, our pace has to be drastically accelerated.