AIDS Crisis In America

Submitted By mikepak
Words: 1283
Pages: 6

AIDS Crisis in America Everyday, there is someone that suffers from intolerance, whether it’s because of their skin color or religion. However there are also people that face discrimination because of having a disease. Back in the 1980s-90s, when AIDS was first discovered we didn’t know much about it and where it came from. Because of this lack of knowledge AIDS victims had to suffer from intolerance. It was 1981 when AIDS was first discovered in America. There were five young men living in Los Angeles, California that developed pneumonia that went to a clinic for a checkup when the doctors diagnosed the five men with AIDS. These men all happened to be homosexual so with the lack of knowledge we had back in the days everybody just assumed that AIDS only happens in homosexual males. In the city of San Francisco where there is a high homosexual population, the public health director of San Francisco wanted to tone down sexual activity at homosexual bathhouses in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease. However this was proven not to be very effective in the future since AIDS did not only occur in homosexual males. It was instead proven by scientists researching the disease with the help of many famous AIDS/HIV victims like Magic Johnson that rose awareness for AIDS that AIDS did not only effect homosexual men. As mentioned before there was a famous man named Earvin “Magic” Johnson that was afflicted with HIV which can later turn into AIDS. Magic was a star basketball player that played for the Los Angeles Lakers. Due to his success on the court he was admired by many so when he made the announcement that he has HIV his fans were shocked but were still supportive of him. So utilizing his fame Magic decided to make a difference in the world. Since he was already well known he was able to spread his message to a wide audience and he raised awareness for HIV/AIDS. He joined various organizations and spread his message saying that you shouldn’t discriminate against someone just because they have HIV/AIDS. So rather than being at the root of intolerance Magic was there pulling out the roots of intolerance that is ignorance.
Another notable figure with AIDS was an American actor by the name of Rock Hudson. Hudson was a much loved figure in Hollywood so when he announced the news of his acquired disease the nation was in shock. When he announced to the world he had AIDS there was still not much known about the disease and it was still thought be a disease that only affects homosexual males. Since Rock Hudson now had this disease he wanted to raise awareness for AIDS so people wouldn’t be discriminated against just because everyone is ignorant as to just what AIDS is and how it spreads instead of just blindly believing that it’s only in homosexual males and it spreads on contact.

There was also a case 1985 where a middle school student was expelled from a school in Indiana for having AIDS. This student was named Ryan White and he was diagnosed with AIDS in December 1984. After the news spread about White having AIDS, scared and unenlightened parents protested White’s return to school because they didn’t know much about AIDS. This same ignorance not only affected homosexual men but it was also the cause of suffering for this young boy in Indiana. If people back then knew as much as we do know about AIDS then there would have been no problem with White going on with school. In fact there would have probably been multiple fundraisers and rallies for him. After his death however many organizations began to have charities dedicated to AIDS research and AIDS treatment in honor of Ryan White who was a huge public figure for AIDS awareness.
AIDS victims faced discrimination not only at school but at the work place as well. On June 23, 1986 it was declared that it was not legal to fire employees afflicted with AIDS. This was only allowed to happen because no one knew much about AIDS so they were afraid of it. Also even though