May 22, 2010
Traveling with HIV
On April 19, 2010 The Chinese government lifted a 20-year-old policy that banned foreigners with HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and leprosy from entering the country. China officials stated that after gaining more knowledge about the disease the government realized that such a ban had a very limited effect on preventing and controlling the spread of the disease. The ban was implemented at a time when HIV/AIDS was relatively new, and their understanding about this deadly disease has grown since.
The HIV virus that causes AIDS spread rapidly through China due to the large use of unsanitary blood plasma-buying schemes and tainted transfusions in hospitals. AIDS was the top killer among infectious diseases in China for the first time in 2008. In January, the United States dropped its own ban on visitors who are HIV positive, a ban that has been in effect for the past 22 years. More than one million people are living with HIV in the USA alone.
I realize that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS virus, and I can understand the fear and need to protect the any population against this deadly disease. I’m amazed it took over 20 years for any country to change this law. Trying to justify laws that segregate a group of people for whatever reason is discrimination. Knowledge is power but knowledge without action it’s useless. There is a fine line between fear and ignorance.
HIV/AIDS discrimination exists worldwide, although they manifest themselves differently across countries, communities, religious groups and individuals. Those coexist along with other forms of discrimination, such as racism and homophobia and can be targeted towards those involved in what is considered socially unacceptable activities such as prostitution or drug use. Discrimination not only makes it more difficult for people trying to come to deal with HIV and manage their illness on a personal level, but it also effects the attempts to fight against this evil killer as a whole. The governments create laws to disguise their discrimination to the world. Their decision creates a negative impression on our views and action against the…