This note aims to highlight the excellent note written by Mariano Massone in www.corresponsalesclave.org, in which he makes a reflection on the problems that people with HIV go through when they make public their HIV diagnosis, either for purposes of work as activists, public figures, artists, writers, painters, and athletes, among others.
In his note, Mr. Massone mentions that this is a problem faced by young people who have HIV. However, we would like to say that this problem has no age. It is a situation that is widespread among people with HIV everywhere in the world.
The following is a summary of the note:
Almost three decades of the first cases of HIV in the world, many people with HIV are still object of labels and stigmas. Cases of discrimination related to people with HIV are many and varied. We could take just one example such the Argentinean film “Un año sin amor” (A year without love). The film is about a young writer who speaks about his HIV-positive diagnosis and the rejection he has against the anti-retroviral treatment and how little by little, he starts taking his medication.
Paul, the film’s main character, after his alleged death he would have in relation to his HIV diagnosis, begins to live his life to the fullest. However, beyond the general plot, one of the final scenes shows the problem of discrimination. It is about the conversation Paul has with his father once his book is released in Buenos Aires. The father feels dishonored by the visibility of his son as a person with HIV in front of the society, so he decides to kick him out of the house.
As part of the visibility of people with HIV, it should be taken into account the position of those without HIV. People usually show two types of discrimination. First, the best known, the stigma and discrimination associated with sex life, sexual orientation and all sexual activities. On the other hand, there’s a positive discrimination that looks a lot like charity and pity given to a poor kitten or puppy.
The topic of stigma and discrimination remains a serious problem that affects the lives of children, youth and adults with HIV.
Mariano Massone, writer of the note in www.corresponsalclave.org , is a young Argentine man with HIV, and he also tells of his own experience when made public his HIV diagnosis in a newspaper in Argentina. “As an individual with HIV, I would like that those who have an HIV-open diagnosis tell not only about the moment in which we knew our diagnosis, but also about the moment in which we surpass that gap between privacy and public, and we are left in a sort of shameless transition in which our life becomes.”
Mr. Massone also tells: “Making public a positive HIV diagnosis can be complicated and uncomfortable at first. However, there are so many people working together, who laugh, cry, and LIVE to make it possible to build a more egalitarian world, not only for those with HIV, but for everyone, each one with their differences that make them unique. Realizing that simplicity of being one in a world of people makes us more authentic and perhaps less vulnerable.”