Ads Top

HIV Stigma: Social Experiment Reveals How People React When Asked To Touch An HIV-Positive Stranger

For many living with HIV, life can be lonely. During a recent social experiment, an HIV-positive Finnish man showed just how far people will go to avoid those with HIV and just how many are willing to push aside old prejudices to overstep this once taboo boundary.
Since HIV was first identified in 1983, there have been tremendous strides made in how we diagnose, treat, and even prevent the virus. Still, scientific advancements have not reached a cure and the stigma of HIV and ignorance of how one contracts the virus remains prevalent. To be clear, the one way to contract the virus is through a direct exchange of bodily fluids. Despite this, for some, being HIV-positive means living life as a pariah, as many believe that merely touching puts their health in danger. In this heartbreaking video, a man identified as "Janne" addresses the public’s perception of HIV by challenging the citizens of Helsinki to touch him.
In the short clip, Janne sits in a park with his eyes closed and arms open standing next to a sign that reads, “I’m HIV-positive, touch me,” and waits to see the crowd’s reaction. At first, the passing crowds barely give Janne a second glance. Slowly though, strangers begin to touch Janne, whether it be a pat on the shoulder, a handshake, or even a full-on hug. In the end, we see how even decades-old prejudices, such as the stigma of HIV, can be broken with enough effort. 
Powered by Blogger.