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Aids Victims Should Be Treated With More Respect And Dignity

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ID: 458027

October 12, 2004

Mr. Phillip Stein


Aids Victims Should be Treated With More Respect and Dignity

What would you do if someone you love gets infected with HIV? Would you still treat them the same way as before? This kind of question might not come into your mind but in fact, it can happen to anyone. The rate of people who gets infected with HIV is increasing rapidly in our society (Cite). People who are HIV positive have to struggle with their life, living by the day. They are faced with many problems such as scarcity of expensive medicine, dealing with emotional conflict and especially, discrimination. People often treat AIDS victims as if they have no feelings or emotions like other people. We should all support and encourage them to be strong because they are the ones who need it the most. They have already contracted the deadly disease and by discrimination, we will make them feel even worse. Imagine people staring at you like you are some kind of a stranger. I know exactly how it feels like because when I first came to Thailand, people looked at me as if something was wrong with me. One AIDS victim told me that before she was infected with HIV, she had a lot of friends. After she found out she was infected, all her friends slowly abandoned her. None of her friends were supportive or knew the true meaning of friendship. She had said to me, "AIDS took away all the friends and people I cared for." Whenever she got close to someone, they would keep a distance from her. They were hostile towards her and treated her like she was something worthless and had no feelings. Put yourself in the shoes of an AIDS victim and you might understand how it feels to be one of them. I would say that AIDS victims are discriminated against and not treated with the respect they deserve.

Aids victims should be treated with more respect in public places and accommodations. Many AIDS victims are being treated unequally in places such as the workplace, schools, restaurants, or public facilities. For example, schools do not accept anyone that is HIV positive. They are afraid of putting other students at risk. Also, if certain parents know that there is a student in school who has AIDS, they might protest against the school and might take their children out of the school. This will then affect the school negatively with the loss of profit or blemish their name. Schools are not the only place that has the discriminating attitude against individuals with AIDS. Discrimination happens at other places as well, such as at work. People with AIDS might not be hired just because they have the illness. Employers might use irrelevant reasons as a way to not hire them. A head of one human resource development said, "Though we do not have a policy so far, I can say that if at the time of recruitment there is a person with HIV, I will not take him. I'll certainly not buy a problem for the company. I see recruitment as a buying-selling relationship. If I don't find the product attractive, I will not buy it." (CITE) In this comment, we can see the discrimination against people with AIDS. For those who are already employed, they will most definitely be faced with the prejudice as well. People will not dare to work closely with them and will keep a distance, with the fear of getting the disease. An HIV positive man in India had said, "Nobody will come near me, eat with me in the canteen, nobody will want to work with me, I am an outcast here." (CITE) It is hard for AIDS victims to keep their jobs for long due to the pressure of intolerance in the workplace. Public accommodations cannot reject or exclude people with AIDS. There are laws against the unequal treatment towards AIDS victims. For example, if a restaurant refuses to serve a person with AIDS, they would be violating the law. This is because they are not a threat to other people. People who have AIDS are not a risk to other since AIDS cannot be transmitted through casual contact.

People are afraid of sharing objects with those who have AIDS. Would you dare to drink from the same glass of water with someone who has AIDS? Most people would definitely say "no" to this question. This is because most people believe that by sharing the same utensils or things as AIDS people, they are putting themselves at risk and would probably be infected with HIV. People do not want to share anything at all with those who have AIDS. From utensils such as plates, spoons, and cups to bathroom, most people would prefer it if these things were not used by AIDS people. People are very discriminating and it makes AIDS victims feel like an outsider. They feel that they cannot fit into the society, making their dignity even lower. They will not dare to use any public facilities or equipments since they know that they will be troubling others. Once an AIDS victim told me that she used to be a secretary of a school. Whenever she used something from the office such as a pen, stapler, or a computer, no one will dare to use it after her. She had told me that it made her feel bad and guilty at the same time. At last, she was not able to stand this treatment against her and decided to quit her job.

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