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[万花筒] 【整理】2008-12-02&12-04 艾滋病,美国人耻于提及的话题

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24-year-old Antron Reshaud knows a thing or two about stigma.

 

“I found out that I was HIV positive it was around 2004, when my mother found out, it was just one of the reasons why she decided to put me out.” Reshaud was diagnosed at age 20 and the discrimination began almost immediately. ”It just hurts me so much when I hear the things, you know, the stories about how people are constantly kicked out of their homes and how they have to go to work and they are, you know, made fun of, or they are fired from their jobs because they happen to be positive.”

 

It’s 2008, more than 25 years into the HIVAIDS epidemic and still people who are infected are often unable to avoid the stigma that surrounds this disease.

 

“It’s a matter of pure ignorance, it’s a matter of prejudice.” Frank Oldham is the President and CEO of the National Association of people with AIDs, he says that prejudice is deeply rooted in the belief that AIDs is still a gay disease and the consequences can be fatal. “It acts a barrier to people getting tested, getting the HIV test, knowing there’s HIV status, and getting into a care of treatment because they are afraid to be identified as someone living with HIVAIDS.”

 

And for those who don’t have the disease. “There is the fear of contagion, a simple fear of becoming infected by HIV, are not really understanding or knowing ways in which these disease is transmitted.” Last year, a three-year-old HIV positive boy was banned from using a public swimming pool and shower in Alabama. A few weeks ago, students at high school in St. Louis were ostracized when someone connected with their school tested positive for the disease.

 

A survey by the M.A.C Aids Fund found more than 30% of Americans are uncomfortable working with someone with HIV or Aids, and that includes healthcare professionals. “If the doctor doesn’t , claims he doesn’t know how to treat them, they really don’t want to treat them…”

 

One in five Americans with HIV doesn’t even know he or she has the disease/, when HIV is diagnosed late, the results can be deadly. “More than 40% of people who are diagnosed with the HIV in the United States, progress to full-blown AIDs within a year of their diagnoses.” Reshaud hopes to reduce that number by convincing others to get tested and seek the proper treatment.

 

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta. 

 

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