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how raise empathy for HIV+ people?

May 22, 2003

How best can one raise the empathy of healthy persons toward those who are HIV+?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Understanding and empathy toward those with HIV infection improves with greater education about the illness. Knowledge and understanding of the illness helps people to realize that HIV infection is a medical illness, rather than a moral punishment for bad behavior or some other myth. Empathy can also be enhanced by putting a face on the disease. When someone hears the story of another person with HIV infection, or meets with them, the more emotional and personal effect of a narrative or face-to-face meeting can promote the development of empathy.

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