Jul 9, 1997
How can PWA's combat the prejudice and ill will they face?
Response from Rev. Pieters
Come out, confront, and educate those who show "prejudice and ill will" towards persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Come out --- when you hear people exhibiting their prejudice, let them know your relationship to HIV. Put a human face on the disease. Even if you're not infected with HIV yourself, you may love someone who is, you may have lost a loved one to AIDS, or you may be involved in providing HIV/AIDS services. Share your story of how HIV has impacted your life, and that will help people see that it's not "them out there somewhere," but us, here and now, right in front of them.
Confront --- Coming out is the beginning of fighting prejudice, but even after you've come out, you may still have to face prejudicial remarks or behaviors. Confront people when these things happen, and let them know how their prejudice affects you and your loved ones.
Educate --- Usually prejudice is based on fear, and fear is often based in lack of knowledge. After you've come out and confronted the prejudice, teach the reality. Share the facts about HIV transmission; talk about what it's like to live with HIV every day; explode the myths and enlighten your listeners with real stories of real people and how prejudice has damaged their lives.
Thank you for caring!
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