Archive for the 'discrimination' Category

08
Jan
08

A Young Man Learns to ‘Embrace’ His HIV Status

This article is part of the Washington Post’s “A Living HIV Quilt”.

Carl, a 19-year-old Prince George’s County resident, spoke with reporter Susan Levine about finding out that he was HIV-positive — and about his life after the diagnosis. Excerpts from that conversation:

I’ve now been diagnosed for two years. Well, not two years, going on two years. January 13th. I found out on January 13th, 2006. It was Friday the 13th. I never forget, Friday the 13th, what a horrible day to find out . . .

I do not know when or where I was infected. . . . All I can give is a time period, an estimated time period anywhere between the ages of 15 and 16.

If you are what they call an at-risk person, the average teen, you kind of know, you’ve got to know, you have a feeling, look, I’m doing certain things, I’m living a certain lifestyle that can be damaging in the future.

So kind of by the age of 17, I started thinking, you know, all my friends kept saying, we’re all gonna go get tested, and we should all get tested together, but I lived with a certain fear because, a fear of knowing. You know, I kind of said to myself, I think I might have it, but I’m not sure.

To me, at the time, at the time, not knowing was waaaay better than knowing. Because if I didn’t know, I did not have to deal with the pressures or, for lack of understanding at the time, you know, ending my life. You know, it was like a death thing, what I thought at the time.

I was very uneducated about the subject. You know, when things came up on TV about AIDS or HIV, when they talked about it in school, I kind of ran away from it. You know, cut the channel, cover my eyes, ’cause I was scared of, I was scared of the facts, I didn’t want to know the facts, I wanted to stay ignorant to the subject . . . because as long as I was ignorant to the subject, I thought, Okay, I’m fine.

That kept me sane. I’m thinking, If I don’t know anything about it, I’m fine. But if I knew what was going on, it made me feel more and more guilty about the things I was doing as a teenager.

I was afraid my mom was going to throw me out, she was going to disown me as her child. . . . I did not know what the outcomes could be, you know. We didn’t grow up with the best of relationships, so I didn’t know how she was going to feel if I was positive.

Click here for the rest of this article>>

26
Sep
07

Mexican court: HIV-positive soldiers may serve

In a landmark decision, the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled that the forced expulsion of soldiers from military bodies because they are HIV-positive is unconstitutional:

“Being HIV-positive does not in itself imply an inability to serve in the armed forces,” the judges wrote in the ruling issued Monday. “Therefore it will be up to the military to determine, case by case, if the degree of effect on the soldier’s health makes it impossible to remain in active service.”

The ruling was made by the Supreme Court after hearing five consecutive cases with the same charge: that soldiers had been discharged from the armed forces because of their HIV status. Back in February, the Court ordered the Mexican Army and Marines to readmit four soldiers who were discharged because they were HIV-positive. – Univision

10
Sep
07

Nepal: ‘HIV infection is not end of life’

KATHMANDU, Sept 7: It is double trouble for women infected with HIV/AIDS. Already being the victims of the deadly disease, they face rampant discrimination from the society mainly because they are women.

Speaking at an interaction organized by Shakti Milan Samaj (SMS), Goma Rai, who is in the terminal state of HIV, said the society about change the perception of looking at women with HIV/AIDS.

SMS is a non-government organization established by women infected with HIV for the protection, promotion and empowerment of women and children having HIV.

Rai and all the members of the organization are infected by HIV as a result of trafficking and drugs abuse. Initially, the organization was established by two persons infected with HIV/AIDS. Now, it has more than 40 members.

She said members of SMS, who were shunned by their families and society, are now involved in income generating activities and leading an independent life.

The SMS provide financial help to members who are willing to do get into income-generating activities.

Another victim Sarita Shrestha said she got the virus from her husband who was a drug addict. Her husband is dead now and she has been living under the care of SMS.

“When I knew that I was infected with HIV all my dreams were shattered. But now I have realized that to be infected with HIV is not the end of life and this has boosted my confidence,” Sarita said.

Chairman of National Non-Government Organization Network against HIV/AIDS. Hari Awasthi, said the awareness campaign should reach out to all over Mid-and Far-Western Regions from where many youths have migrated abroad for employment during the conflict making them vulnerable to the virus.

Rajiv Kafle, the anti-AIDS campaigner, said the anti-HIV/AIDS programme should be expanded to Far-Western Region in order to collect the actual number of women infected with HIV and AIDS. He also stressed on the need for awareness programme in the remote part such as Darchula, Achham and Doti of the region.

President of National AIDS and STD Control Padam Bahadur Chand said that the government and NGOs working for the elimination of HIV/AIDS should distribute the resources equally all over the country.

He said the real problems of women and children infected by HIV and AIDS could not be brought out to the open unless the government and NGOs reach out to the far-and mid-western parts of Nepal.

04
Sep
07

Alabama: HIV positive Caleb Glover gets to swim after all!!

We posted about lil Caleb being banned from an Alabama RV park serveral months ago, as well as news of the protest to follow..etc.  Many blessings and thanks go out from HIVAidsandMe to The Campaign to End Aids for organizing the Family Reunion Event!!!!!!  I think this was a wonderful demonstration of how education and understanding are key to bring people together to support and celebrate HIV positive people.  Here’s an article about the event.

AIDS activists visit Silverhill RV park
RV park proprietor hosts AIDS activists months after barring HIV-positive toddler from swimming pool
Tuesday, September 04, 2007By RYAN DEZEMBER

SILVERHILL, AL — In an effort to raise AIDS awareness, about 45 activists, most of them infected with the virus that causes the disease, traveled from locales as far-flung as Delaware, Dallas and San Diego to the Wales West Light Railway & RV Resort, where they had a Labor Day picnic.

Tucked off a rural highway east of Fish River, the resort was not chosen because of its visibility, but rather because two months ago, the 20-acre park made national news when a Saraland couple, Dick and Silvia Glover, accused the park of discriminating against their 2-year-old, HIV-positive foster son, Caleb.

The Glovers decided to vacation at Wales West in early July because the park features, among the amenities typical of an RV resort, a life-size replica of the small, coal-fired locomotives once used in Welsh mining. But when the couple tried to take their foster son for a swim, the park’s owner, Ken Zadnichek, told his employees to bar him from the pool and showers until he could confirm that there was no health hazard in letting the boy swim with other guests.

The Glovers promptly left the park for accommodations at another RV resort and called reporters.

Since then, Zadnichek has taken a lot of heat over that July day. Besides being the subject of reports on national television and radio, blogs and other online sounding boards have blasted the park owner.

“Everyone wants to call me the mean old guy that kicked the HIV baby out of the swimming pool, which is nuts,” Zadnichek said Monday before hosting a reporter on a train ride through his burgeoning 20-acre park. “We were concerned as much about what he would catch from the other kids as what they would get from him.”

The activists — most of whom are affiliated with the Campaign to End AIDS, a national network of people living with the disease — said in a news release that they originally intended to surprise Zadnichek, reserving several of the park’s 76 sites under the guise of a family reunion.

To hold an angry protest, however, wouldn’t have accomplished the activists’ aim of raising awareness about the disease and erasing the stigma faced by people living with AIDS and HIV, said Larry Bryant, an HIV-positive resident of Washington, D.C.

“It would have been oversimplifying to have an angry mob show up with pitchforks and torches,” Bryant said, adding that Zadnichek and his wife, Ann, had been helpful in arranging the activists’ stay.

“We’re glad to see them,” said Zadnichek, who is generally more keen to talk about the train he had built four years ago in England than he is about AIDS. “We don’t want to turn anyone away.”

Dick Glover, who suffers from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, wasn’t able to make it Monday. But Sylvia Glover, who has been foster mother to more than 60 children, brought Caleb and other family members.

Caleb, now 3, finally went for that swim. However, possibly because of his appetite-ruining drug treatments, he wasn’t much interested in the barbecue or the celebration of his return to the resort. Instead, the skinny boy dressed in a diaper, T-shirt and plastic sunglasses spent much of the time he was being feted playing on a swing set.

29
Aug
07

If gay men would just stop cruising…

I happened upon this article, “Gay Sex in Public a Major Health Risk ~ Naugle Calls on Homosexuals to Stem the Spread of HIV – Aug 23, 2007“.

“At a news conference at City Hall this week, Jim Naugle, the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has called on homosexual men to end their public sexual encounters in order to curb the local HIV/AIDS rate. “We want to put a stop to that activity,” he said.

Since his first public comments in July, Naugle has been attacked on all sides for being nearly the only US public figure to oppose on moral grounds the encroachment of homosexual activity in his town.

Now Naugle is in the news again for his determination to clean up Fort Lauderdale’s beaches and tourist spots, that he says are a health threat. The tourist destinations, he says, are being used as “cruising” scenes for homosexual men looking for the anonymous sexual encounters that characterize the “gay” subculture. This activity, he says, is one of the major factors in the spread of the HIV virus in the area.”

This is simply absurd and you should read the rest of the article to see just how backwards this “6 term” mayor is.  From what I understand, the majority of cruisers are closeted men, not openly homosexual men who are honest and comfortable with their sexuality.  Openly homosexual men don’t have to troll around in park bathrooms an such.  It’s a shame that this public official is targeting homosexual men as a source of the spread of HIV.  I would hope that the attention that this story has gotten has forced him to become more aware and educated about the spread of HIV/Aids and made him more tolerant of homosexuals.

26
Aug
07

HIV positive children thrown out of school in India

There have been a disturbing number of stories involving children and HIV discrimination in the news…all over the world…lately.  It’s a very very disturbing trend.  Here is another example.

Parents have demanded that a Baruipur primary school throw out children suspected to be HIV-
positive. The West Bengal Board of Primary Education has, however, stood its ground and refused to give in to
the demand.

The incident is a virtual repeat of an episode in a remote Kerala village, where HIV-positive children were ostracised by parents and their wards last year.

The vicious whisper campaign against the children was started about a fortnight ago by a local goon at Gobindapur village, 25 km from Kolkata. He incited some villagers into demanding the ouster of the students. These ‘HIV-positive’ students are residents of a home run by an NGO.

Things came to a head about a week ago, when some parents submitted a signed memorandum to the school authorities, demanding that the HIV-positive children be removed.

“We cannot allow our wards to study with HIV-positive kids. They are a threat and will infect our children. The school must throw them out, failing which we will withdraw our children,” the letter to the headmaster stated.

Visit The Times of India for the rest of this article 

17
Aug
07

Colored’-Full Language – Zadnichek refers to black people as “colored”

Colored’-Full Language -full article | by Farai Chideya
NPR.org

As our esteemed colleague Karen Grigsby Bates writes in her mystery novels, “It’s a small colored world.”

Now, while she may use the phrase, as an author, with a bit of the tongue in cheek, it’s hard to know in what spirit one of our guests used it.

We had a story today on an upcoming HIV/AIDS protest at an RV vacation park. We spoke to Silvia Glover, who brought her two year-old foster son to the resort. He’s HIV-positive. The resort chose not to let him use the pool or showers immediately. But Glover also thinks race played a factor.

We also spoke with property owner Ken Zadnichek. He argued that the Glover family didn’t let him check safety issues with the local health department, as he wanted to do for the benefit of not only the other residents, but the Glover’s foster son. And then, when I asked him about race, he said that he had plenty of “colored” guests come throught the resort.

Reaction? Some people who listened to the segment said “What did he say!?!?!” while others didn’t even notice it.

The most common words in use for people of African descent in America are African-American and black. But while the “n” word makes headlines as part of the Imus and rap debates, the “C” word, “Colored,” has largely dropped out of view.

Largely.

Now, language gets read into many ways… for its grammar, content, and delivery.

If you heard someone use Colored instead of black or African-American, would you make assumptions about their beliefs or politics?…”