The first day of December is the "World AIDS Day" which is designated to change people's understanding about AIDS. This day is intended to remove peoples' misunderstandings and prejudice about AIDS, controlling the proliferation of AIDS and increasing public participation in AIDS campaigns.
"World AIDS Day" was established by adopting the "London Declaration" that emphasized exchange of information, respect of human rights for prevention of AIDS. During this day, a "Red ribbon campaign" takes place. A red ribbon represents blood and a human heart. So people attach a ribbon to their bodies to get rid of discrimination and prejudice about AIDS patients to make a humane society.
But the general public doesn't know what "World AIDS Day" is. The mass media does not report on it deeply. So far, our society is negative about the AIDS problem. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a progressive syndrome that happens after someone becomes infected by the HIV virus. If someone is infected by the HIV virus, his immune system is destroyed. When HIV virus spreads deeply, his immune system is not working against simple viruses. So the body easily catches fatal infectious diseases. There are approximately 42 million AIDS patients in the world, over the half of them living in the South Sahara desert in Africa. As of June in 2006, 4227 people are reported to have been infected with the AIDS virus in South Korea.
There are many cases which AIDS patients have been discriminated against in our society. For example, an AIDS patient permitted picture-taking on a TV broadcast under the promise that his/her face would be pixilated, because he/she didn't want to show her face to the public. In another case, patients with AIDS at a public health center were exposed carelessly to the public. Their faces were opened to the public. AIDS patients are subjected to humiliation from the staff in public health centers. Even some doctors refuse treatment to AIDS patients. Even though discrimination in workplace is prohibited by law, many enterprises operate blood tests to sort out AIDS infected persons, and they are recommended for retirement.
Prejudice about AIDS creates misunderstanding. All AIDS patients don't die promptly. They often live long if they are treated and managed steadily. Judging AIDS patients by their appearance is heartless, and the prejudice that the AIDS victim must be a homosexual is not accurate. AIDS is spread by infected person's blood, sexual contact, or even mother' milk, not by exercising, eating, or communications with AIDS infected people. Shaking-hands and hugging are not related to AIDS infection.
Just as anyone can get cancer, anyone can get AIDS, and it is a difficult disease for medical treatment. AIDS patients experience physical pains, plus society's criticism every day, and their families feel sad by all this negativity.
From now on, let's throw away our prejudice about AIDS and accept AIDS patients as members of our society, considering AIDS patients' rights, because AIDS patients are valuable life, and they need to be respected like us.
저작권자 © 영남대학교 언론출판문화원 무단전재 및 재배포 금지