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Social perpections not evolving?
Mar 17, 2006

I read this forum, as a way of social support. It amazes me that from those who are negative, they pose questions of how terrified they are about HIV. On the other hand, those recently detecte as poz, face the same social issues and questions that many of us suffered when we were diagnosed even a decade ago. My perception, and this is part of my question, is that in the last 10 years not much has progressed regarding HIV treatments both medically and by how the society looks at us. I feel HIV still is "modern age" leprosy, when some say this has become a "chronic desease" still there are laws that banned us from moving to other countries - Canada recently imposed one. People still wonder "should I tell and/or disclose this to friends, co-workers, etc." ... on the medical arena, new medications have come out, but for me are only more convenient ways of taking instead of 15 pills 3 times a day, perhaps once only, but still we face the side effects, the high prices and all the particular burdens that they come with. Although we- poz people - know that we should not be as afraid as perhaps in the 80s about dying, only we know this. Everybody else wonders if they can catch AIDS but breathing our same air, I mean, this kind of ignorance still prevails ... it makes me sad, and emotionally it is something that frustrates me, that now in 2006 we still are facing. Is it only me, or things have not progressed that much in the last 10 years, both in medications and the way society looks at HIV and AIDS?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Treatment sophistication has progressed enormously. We know more and more about which treatments are more suited for certain situations. New medications have been developed in the last 10 years, and research continues on treatments, vaccines and methods of prevention.

As for attitudes toward HIV, there will always be those who react with fear or ignorance, as well as those who react with compassion and hope. The human race is complicated, but I do believe we are making progress. We can all hope and pray that the pace of progress improves.



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