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Ridding the world of HIV-related stigma also requires a maturity in language, as well as a measure of truth in recounting the history of HIV as to unite the global struggle. "AIDS" was coined before we knew the infectious agent at work, and it is the only infectious disease where science and society continue to recite a heavily stigmatized word, instead of naming the known culprit HIV in the absence of any use of a dated term. Do we say "consumption/TB"? No. Using "AIDS" or "HIV/AIDS" furthers the perception that late-stage HIV disease is inevitable, contradicting the truth that today's HIVers, like non-HIVers, are more likely to die of heart disease than the virus, thanks to advancements in treatment. Recalling an old view of HIV disease drives fear that keeps people from testing early in their life while infected., and it helps to perpetuate stigma from the uninfected. Similarly, the "30 years" motif belies the truth about the emergence of HIV worldwide. The virus had taken tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of lives in Africa, Haiti, and other nations before American doctors noted the appearance of advanced HIV disease among white Gay men. The proverbial tree had fallen decades before the MMWR publication identifying what would later be known as signs of advanced HIV disease, and over twenty years later science would validate the pre-1981 emergence and history of HIV. Continuing to discuss the history of HIV as if it began with the publication by Masur et al. stigmatizes Gay and Bisexual men and dismisses the toll which Africa had borne silently for decades.
How very true! You forgot a couple... 1:58 PM. Crap pants and have needy emo boy wipe it up. 11:20 PM. Slam back a handful of Valium with a cocktail for a good night's sleep. Stimulant abuse is SO 2006!
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Keep in mind that, if we're doing this life thing well, we get better with time, even with creaks and creases.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2009 on That was me then, this is me now at BuggBlog
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