An Epidemic of Ignorance: AIDS & Discrimination essays
Over the course of history, it has often been said of human beings that we are afraid of what we don't know.In the late seventeenth century, religious fundamentalists used the irrational fear of witchery and superstition as an excuse for the execution of many innocent people.Until fairly recently, most non-Anglo-Saxon races were looked upon with apprehension and abhorrence.Nevertheless, mankind has frequently managed to overcome its ignorance and fear in favor of knowledge and enlightenment.The mid-twentieth century space program developed after a prolonged fear and trepidation against "going where no man has gone before."A newfound social refinement and intelligence conquered even the dark ages, which had previously been saturated with superstition and fallacy.Even in today's world with continuously evolving technological genius and "liberal" social enlightenment, hate and fear have still proven to be critical issues.This has been a particular concern with regard to AIDS, one of the single greatest tragedies of the twentieth century.No other disease, or event for that matter, has caused so much finger pointing and hysteria.Even those unfortunate individuals who were blacklisted during the McCarthy hearings in the 1950's, were not subject to the complete exile and apathy that many AIDS victims have experienced.Even though much of the public has become more educated and compassionate since HIV has gained prevalence, prejudice against those with AIDS is still an alarming dilemma.Discrimination against AIDS victims has sadly continued to fester in Western societies because of prevalent societal ignorance with regard to the risk factor of the disease and how it is spread, the stigma of
AIDS as an exclusively "queer disease," and the bias of and lack of concern by "health-care" officials and lawmakers.
Initially, thefirst reported cases of AIDS appeared as …