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    067602

    World AIDS Day 1991 -- sharing the challenge. HIV: a dangerously divisive virus.

    WORLD AIDS DAY NEWSLETTER. 1991 Jul; (1):1-4.

    This year's World AIDS Day, an annual observance day and a day to strengthen worldwide efforts to stop AIDS, will stress the need for forming partnerships in order to combat the disease. As this article explain, the AIDS pandemic has shown not only physical, but also psychological manifestations. AIDS has widened the divisions along race, sex, and social lines. For example, while in some countries prostitutes have been arrested on charges of being public health risks, their clients have not been imprisoned. Also, many groups considered to be high-risk -- like Haitians in the US -- have suffered reprisals from society at large. But as the article points out, ostracism and quarantine are inappropriate and cruel responses to AIDS, sine the disease spreads through deliberate human behavior (especially sexual behavior) and not ordinary behavior. Not only does ostracism of AIDS victims constitute human rights violations, it also works against controlling the spread of the disease. Those outside the stigmatized groups may consider themselves to be invulnerable to the disease. Furthermore, discrimination against HIV-infected people may discourage these individuals from contacting health and social services. The World Health Organization (WHO), the organizer of World AIDS Day, reports that in little over a decade, 8-10 million people worldwide have become infected with HIV, and that 1.5 million have developed AIDS. By the year 2000, WHO believes that the figures will rise to 30-40 million HIV cases and 10-15 million AIDS cases. In order to control the disease, it is necessary to end the isolation of groups and to form partnerships. Some of the most important partnerships, are between infected and noninfected people, between peers, and between men and women.
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