Helen Miramontes, Retired Nurse, Las Vegas, N.V.
I did feel it some in the early '80s, as a nurse taking care of people with AIDS. There was resistance. People were afraid to even be around me because of the fact that I took care of patients with AIDS. And there were also care providers that wanted to know why I would even consider focusing on taking care of patients with AIDS, when it's just a dead-end job.
I don't see that today; not among providers. We have improved and gotten beyond that. But my son was diagnosed in 1991, and he, at times, experienced some stigma, so I experienced that in relationship to what he experienced. I experienced stigma through people that were infected with HIV who verbalized their experiences to me -- particularly people of color -- and the reaction that they sometimes had from others. I was able to empathize.