AIDS/HIV Disability Discrimination

Essay by catherine34108University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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People with disabilities, such as HIV/AIDS, should be afforded the same human rights and respect as any other person with a disability. They are discriminated against in the workplace as well as in many other areas of life. The employer's stance claims that the infected persons own health would be jeopardized by working in their chosen field - so employers will discriminate against them "for their own good."

In the workplace, employers who are not educated about this disease are hesitant to employ persons who are diagnosed positive. A multitude of legal issues concerning AIDS in the workplace have already arisen. As to AIDS/HIV and employment discrimination, there is no doubt that a person with AIDS is protected from job discrimination under both state and federal law. Proving discrimination is quite another story.

Many people are under the impression that AIDS/HIV is a disease contracted by intravenous drug use, or by having "same sex" relations, and that people should be avoided that have this disease, or they may contract it.

People who have the disease are looked "down upon" in society and discrimination runs rampant for those who are afflicted. Misconceptions such as these type can only be cured by education of the people to ease their fears.

But government-sanctioned discrimination that's justified as being "for our own good" isn't limited to employment. Increasingly, federal tax dollars are being funneled to public schools for "abstinence-only" programs that teach young people that sex before marriage is always unhealthy and inappropriate. This is appropriate to teach, but these programs are replacing sex education, and are riddled with distorted and inaccurate information. Advocates of "abstinence-only" programs claim they're omitting comprehensive, accurate information for young people's own good - but instead, they're putting youth in harm's way by not giving them the information they...