نگاشته شده توسط: Dr. OZ | دسامبر 6, 2005

Iranian PLWHA given airtime to speak out on HIV/AIDS

Iranian HIV positives have been given the chance to speak on national television channels about critical issues on HIV/AIDS and related to World AIDS Day.

For the first time in the region a woman living with HIV/AIDS appeared unmasked on TV channel 2 during a talk show on 30 Nov. She spoke up frankly about her status and said: “I am glad of having the opportunity to talk to a lot of my people because I became HIV positive for the lack of knowledge. I have tried since the first day of knowing my status to deliver true and accurate information about HIV/AIDS to everyone.” When being asked about why she decided to sit faced to the camera, she replied: ”I want to say that HIV/AIDS is not like that many people imagine, the public should realize PLWHAs are not isolated from the society and are prosperous, that is the reason I am here”

She added: “All HIV positive persons that I know have the courage to declare their status when they go for receiving heath services like dentistry, but they are often misbehaved. This should be changed, they should practice universal precautions for everyone not just for PLWHAs, considering the majority of HIV positives who don’t know their status themselves.”

She talked about catching HIV from her husband while he was an intravenous drug user. She told the interviewer: “However, it is not important how any one is infected, we should respect every person living with HIV/AIDS and no one should be blamed since no one has caught HIV knowingly. PLWHAs have the right to keep their route of transmission secret.”

The “Image of Life” talk show is a popular program which has a countrywide air/satellite broadcasting and also is webcasted live.

This is the website of »image of Life»: http://tv2.irib.ir/tasvirezendegi/html/home.htm

This special broadcast was organized byme and Dr Hamid Saheb fornational week of communication about HIV/AIDS (1-7 Dec).

What do you think about this activity?


Responses

  1. I think we need to accept people with HIV and AIDS as a ‹normal› part of our society.
    HIV/AIDs is highly associated with attitudes social responses. A person living with HIV and AIDS needs genuine compassion, good counselling and acceptance at all places and by everyone. In reality, those who are infected and affected, by HIV and AIDS, are being harmed due to negative social response, specifically stigma. Everyone is stigmatised including health workers, families, friends, communities and policy makers. Sigma is therefore an enormous impediment to effectively reduce spread of the epidemic. Simply put, stigma is fear of exclusion and rejection. The exclusion can be in the form of healthcare services, employment, or visa restrictions to entry to another country. It could even mean eviction from home by families or being rejected by their friends and colleagues. Stigma is therefore not a natural phenomenon, something created by society. It prevents people from admitting own HIV status to friends and communities. Stigmatised policy makers and authorities tend to deny the realities of HIV and AIDs. The consequences of all these can be long term and tragic.If persons tell their HIV status openly , their families, friends and their loved ones will reject them. We requires a change of attitude at all levels. The challenge is that one cannot change attitude in society within a week, months or even within a year. It takes years if not decades. Countries like Iran will have a difficult challenge to transform the attitude of a society as communication infrastructures are rudimentary. Living with HIV and AIDS are often seen as shameful thing in Iran for so many reasons. The infection is associated with adultery and prostitution. HIV is associated with religious beliefs of ‹irregular sex›, which is categorised as ‹sinful behaviours›.
    Finally, how can we overcome the greatest challenge: stigma? How can we change people’s attitude to HIV and AIDS? Education and public awareness is the most important policy option. People should know more about stigma and denial. The society should learn how to accept and embrace people living with HIV/ AID and give the maximum support and compassion. HIV and AIDs issues should be part of the daily political and security agenda for authorities given its massive consequences on the economic, social and political future of the country. The government should put in place appropriate laws, policies and programmes that would reduce the stigmatisation of people living with HIV and AIDs. Leaders also should set examples to break stigmatisation and reaffirm to support people leaving with AIDs and HIV. It would be crime against humanity to allow the death of millions. At the end I just want to tell you that your program will be useful. I appreciate you already.


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