Stigmatization in Society
We live in a society where, regardless of what race, age, ethnicity, physical make-up, etc., you will get judged. People living with HIV/AIDS are a prime example of stigmatization. There are three major groups of people with HIV/AIDS that are stigmatized. Those groups are homosexuals, drug users, and those who live in 3rd world countries. The government, and others with similar powers have seemed to do a lot to help get rid of stigmatizations about homosexuals, drug users, etc., but has it been enough? This essay is deciding whether or not our society has done enough to help get rid of dehumanizing stigmatizations on specific “at-risk people”, such as homosexuals, drug users, and those in 3rd world countries. I aim to pinpoint, describe, and decide whether what has been done so far to stop stigmatization against those with HIV/AIDS is enough. These stigmatizations are only hurting our society, and separating those who don’t appear as equal to us, when really, we are all equal, as we are all humans.
Before any decision is made as to whether we have done enough to stop the stigmatization of those with HIV/AIDS, you should probably understand the groups being stigmatized. There are three groups, homosexuals with HIV/AIDS, drug users with HIV/AIDS, and those living in third world countries with HIV/AIDS. Stigmatization of homosexuals with HIV/AIDS is probably the most common, because they are the majority of who is infected with HIV/AIDS. In fact, the majority of people in Caribbean actually consider HIV/AIDS as the “gay disease,” (TAP, 1). Jamaica has a strict law against partners to have anal sexual intercourse, and law enforcement use this to justify their abuse of homosexuals in Jamaica. Not only in jamaica are homosexuals living with HIV/AIDS being stigmatized. It is happening all around the world, with Jamaica being just a small example. The next group of people being stigmatized for having HIV/AIDS, are those who have contracted the disease from drug use. The typical stigmatization for a drug user with HIV/AIDS are that they are bad people, and junkies, when really, many of them are actually successful and have stable jobs, (Heart-intl, 1). Not to say that I’m justifying drug use, but these are simply facts. The final group of people with HIV/AIDS that are commonly stigmatized, are those living in 3rd world countries. Most of the people living in third world countries who have HIV/AIDS are too poor to afford medication or treatment. Some are even too poor to afford contraceptives like condoms to help keep them safe. And it is a well known fact that the majority of those living in third world countries are not well educated on the matter, and therefore are too naive to know to protect themselves. It is also commonly known that people in 3rd world countries think that HIV/AIDS is a taboo subject, and that if a woman tries to tell the man to use protection, it is a sign of disrespect, and leads to marital issues. These subjects are very well known throughout society, and they are the basis for stigmatization.
There has been a lot done to stop stigmatization against those living with HIV/AIDS. Many countries that are widely effected by the disease have begun to put forth effort to stop stigmatization as a whole. The country of Jamaica has joined global efforts to stop HIV/AIDS stigmatization and discrimination. Activist groups in Jamaica like the Jamaica Red Cross, the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, the Jamaica Network for Seropositives, etc., have all collaborated and agreed to host events to heighten awareness and attempt to stop stigmatization. One of these events is called World AIDS Day. This is a day devoted to raising money to help raise awareness, improve education, while simultaneously working against prejudice, (repeatingislands, 1). Patty Rhodes of the Red Cross’ World AIDS Day Committee said, “Persons