The Education Of AIDS Discrimination Essay Research

The Education Of A.I.D.S Discrimination Essay, Research Paper

The Education of A.I.D.S Discrimination

Employees are being discriminated against for their infectious illness

known as A.I.D.S. They are labeled incapable of performing the tasks they

pursued before they were recognized as being infected. The confidentiality of

an employee is a private matter and very personal. There aremany different

kinds of prejudice but not one as deadly as A.I.D.S Discrimination. The

emotional trauma and future ofemployment play a giant role in the inflicted.

Health policies through job-related fields must learn to recognize that like

other illnesses, A.I.D.S does not forbid an employee of performing his or her

duties. It is the most altering form of discrimination because of the fact that

every time a person finds out they are positive, the opinions of those who

surround them are likely to change. The working class is the most susceptible to

this form of discrimination. The every day environment of an employee with

A.I.D.S is also the work grounds for someone who isn’tinfected with A.I.D.S.

A.I.D.S Discrimination in a job-related atmosphere is due to lack of education

and sensitivity.

The infection of HIV does not reduce an employee’sefficiency from

satisfactory to intolerable. An employee should not be denied employment or

promotion if they are not flawed by HIV. Some employees are not stripped of

their capacities to perform even though they are infected with HIV(Lewy 2). Why

should the employee health benefits be altered because of the nature of the

disease. The majority of employee policies offered cover catastrophic illness

with only ten percent covering A.I.D.S. One particular policy states that

people do not become infected through usual behavior in a working environment.

This illustrates that A.I.D.S patients are protected under disability law and

are entitled to the same medical benefits (Karr A1). Policies must be issued to

protect the inflicted. A Department of Health and Human Services review board

has ruled “discrimination against someone who’s HIV-positive is illegal” (Kolasa

63). Where does it say that unless the infected is under employment? The main


to understand is that it doesn’t. Eileen Kolasa reminds us of a law ofdirect

meaning “HIV is a handicap protected under federal law” (66). The American

justice system is what decides the fate of the infected. The challenge of

bringing an A.I.D.S discrimination case in court has become very common in the

United States. Such actions have been victorious and have helped pass revised

Disability Acts which applies to all diseases (Annas 592).

Even though the infected are defended under law, it still violates a

person’s human rights of personal health secrecy. This discrimination has not

received attention as aform of human-rights violation. The government and court

systems have helped essentially, but discrimination also affects medical care.

Physicians and lawyers should promote the interests of the sick as well (Annas

592). Revealing this condition is a serious decision to make. The

possibilities of acceptance will differ in the lives of many HIV-positive

employees. Helen Lippman, senior editor of RN magazine replies:

If legislation were passed requiring health-care

providers to report their HIV status, nearly

four in ten respondents say that they would report

a suspected violation. (32)

The tutelage of A.I.D.S at a job can considerably change attitudes of

credibility. The Americans With Disability Actgoverns to any company with

twenty-five or more employees. This legislation forbids discrimination against

any disability or chronic disease. The interesting fine print is that it

specifically mentions A.I.D.S. within its text(Pogash 77). The policies do mot

automatically make the routines of companies more likely to accept them. Wyatt

John Bunker explains from Karrs article “the gold standard isn’t whether

companies have a policy, but how they handle A.I.D.S. on a day to day basis”

(A1). One of the first A.I.D.S. discrimination cases that was filed was against

United Airlines. Two pilots were prohibited from flying due to the fact that

they were HIV-positive. James F. Peltz and Stuart Silverstein, Los Angeles

Times writers, explain that “the case extends the already-sensitive subject of

A.I.D.S. in the workplace to another group of professionals whose jobs include

protecting the

safety of others” (D1). Bunker’s theory does make sense in the employee

situations where the general public becomes a dynamic participant in the matter.

Robert Lewy shares his view of determining if an employee is able to perform his

or her obligation of employment by a series of guidelines:

HIV-infected workers should be treated the same

as persons with any other non-work-related

injuries or illnesses, such as diabetes or

epilepsy. They are entited to equal rights

and benefits of employment, including

available medical services. (9)

One possible solution is to educate the businesses to be sympathetic. The

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have coordinated a program called

“Business Responds to A.I.D.S.” Its main initiative is to involve better

educationby sensitizing executives, managers, and labor leaders. If they draft

new policies for their businesses, they will be stepping in the right direction

(Collingwood 46). Small independent businesses can set their own policies but

what about the large chain businesses?

The commonly known department store “Macy’s” came across an A.I.D.S.

discrimination dispute. When Macy’s had discovered that Mark Woodley, the usual

Santa Claus, was HIV-positive he was denied employment. They did however offer

him a job supervising the Santa Claus’s, but he refused(Santa 22). Macy’s tried

to cover up by offering Mr. Woodleya job that did not involve the interaction of

people. The situation was backed up by a protest march which resulted in chaos.

One protestor John Winkleman states “A.I.D.S.discrimination violates the spirit

of Christmas and we will not tolerate it at all” (Santa 22).

Some businesses do not want to deal with being responsible for someone who

somewhere down the line might become fatally ill. Insurance coverage is a main

concern for employees. The cost of treatment for A.I.D.S from the first

diagnosis to death is an amount of $85,000 (Pogash 77). The Medical staff of

hospitals deal with HIV-positive patients ona daily basis. Nurses, unlike

office employees or construction workers, perform invasive procedures on

patients providing them with immediate care. This line of duty may enforce

stronger policies for their own legal protection(Kolasa 64). A survey was taken

from Helen Lippman for RN magazine. She reports “a caregiver’s risk of

infection after a needlestick with contaminated blood, the CDC estimates is

about one in 200, and about one in 300 from percutaneous exposure” (30).

Medical officials should be offered theseprotection plans, but should also

become more sensitive tothe subject of discrimination. The City of

Philadelphiafired emergency health phys icians for refusing to give proper

treatment to patients with A.I.D.S (Philadelphia 17). If you are put in a

situation where you are working with someone who is infected or worrying of

becoming infected yourself, you would want to know what protection is offered

after knowing the rights of the caregiver (Kolasa 63).

A.I.D.S discrimination is no different than any other form of prejudice.

The only way it trails off the basic path is that it can go either way. Whether

you are a patient who is infected or a nurse who is infected. Whether you are

an office employee or a client of an office employee. A.I.D.S does not chose

skin color, religion, or ethnic background. It will get to anyone puts

themselves at risk. If you add up all the hate and discomfort between people or

groups of people in our society who are prejudiced as it is, and add another

reason to take the hate to a higher level, the problem will never be solved.

Everyone must work together and become more educated about the way victims of

this hourglass disease are treated. Black, White, Jewish, Asian,etc. Everyone

has their opposing differences about one another, or how one race or belief is

dominant over another.

A.I.D.S is not prejudice. It has a hold on many groups of these people.

Health policies are offered for the protection of the sick, but no policy will

protect them from the emotional abuse. This is why we shouldn’t turn our backs

on these people who are less fortunate. It’s not going to get better. We must

educate ourselves to not be soclose-minded, and start to get ahead of the game.

Despite all the irreconcilable differences between different types of people who

are infected, they have one threatening thing in common…..they are all dying.

Educate not to discriminate. Are you so certain you will never be infected?

“A.I.D.S Protesters-as-Santa’s at Macy’s.” New York Times. 30 Nov. 1991,

sec. 1: 22.

Annas, George. “Detention of HIV Positive Haitians at Guantanamo.” The New

England Journal of Medicine. 329 (1993): 589-592.Collingwood, Harris.

“A.I.D.S and Business: A Plan for Action.” Business Week 14 Dec. 1992: 46.

Karr, Albert. “Employer A.I.D.S Policies begin to Proliferate. The Wall Street

Journal 15 Dec. 1992: A1.

Kolasa, Eileen Urban. “HIV vs. a nurses right to work.” RN January 1993: 63-


Lewy, Robert. “HIV Infection and Job Performance.” U.S.A Today August 1992:


Lippman, Helen. “HIV and Professional Ethics: Nurses Speak Out.” RN June

1992: 28-32.

Peltz, James. “2 United Pilots File 1st A.I.D.S-Related Suit Against an

Airline.” Los

Angeles Times 12 April. 1995:‑‑‑‑‑D1.

“Philadelphia Resolves A.I.D.S. Bias Complaint.” New York Times 22 Mar. 1994,

sec. A: 17

Pogash, Carol. “Risky Business (Coping with A.I.D.S. in the Workplace.)”

Working Woman

October 1992: 74-79.


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