Good Morning Ladies And Gentlemen, This Is Your Volunteer Speaking!
Author: merve özcangaz
Tuesday 25th of March 2014 12:50:31 PM

Yesterday I told you the sad story of the first official Turkish case of HIV/AIDS, the late Murti. Today I will tell you how in Turkey today, people talk about the disease and those it has affected, which shows the major developments that have happened over the years. Every word has the ability to influence people and tells us more than its definition in the dictionary. All the words create images in our minds, even similar words create different worlds in our minds and make us feel differently. With every new word that we learn, we receive an empty big box to fill with meanings and images. The positivity or negativity of the images depends on how you live or learn. So what’s the relation between this and HIV/AIDS? The relation is our point of view towards HIV/AIDS! Turkish people used to use word “AIDS’li” which means “person who has AIDS” and they got terrified when they heard it. But now they are encouraged to use the word “HIV pozitif kişisi” (HIV positive person) instead of the word “AIDS’li” and “HIV’le yaşayan” which means “person who lives with HIV” instead of the word “AIDS hastası” (AIDS patient) by NGO's. Maybe all those words moreorless have same meaning, but they do make you feel different and can reduce stigma around the topic. These new words are not only more correct and polite but the aim of this rephrasing is also to reduce stigma and to allow people to look at HIV/AIDS and those who suffer from it not as monsters but people like all of us. This was done in the past with autism as well: people were encouraged to use the word “person with autism” instead of “autistic” and it did work. I hope that these efforts will really reduce the stigma around people living with HIV in Turkey. See you tomorrow! From DAA HQ with love..

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