www.whyville.net Jul 27, 2007 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Change the World: Positive

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Alright, don't call me lame, but the other day when I was watching "Will & Grace" on Lifetime I happened to see a commercial for a new movie called Girl Positive. The movie looked like an interesting peek into the life a girl who was scared that she had contracted HIV. In an earlier article I wrote about what HIV and AIDS meant, but in this article, I'm going to look at this from a different angle. What it's like to live with HIV and what it's like to live near someone with HIV.

I have never met anyone who has HIV or AIDS in my life so this movie seemed to be very informative. A popular teenage girl in her high school learns that her recent "intimate" boyfriend, who had just died, was an avid IV drug user. But the scary part in all of this is that he may have had HIV.

Rachel, the teenage girl, was too scared to confide in anyone about her problem, except for a substitute teacher who immediately took her to a clinic to get tested. But during the time it took to get the test back, she was horrified that she may actually have HIV/AIDS. One comforting part about confiding in the substitute teacher, Sarah, is that Sarah is also dealing with the disease. She feels that she can trust Sarah. But she soon finds out that word of mouth spreads faster than any disease out there.

Within no time the entire school is talking about Rachel and how she may have HIV. All the kids in the school suddenly become more and more cold towards her and refuse to treat her normally. Say goodbye to the popular Rachel. I'll let you watch the movie to find out all the details, but there is a greater lesson to be learned here.

First of all, if you think you may have HIV or AIDS, get tested immediately. There are medicines out there that could potentially save your life. Although there is no known cure for the disease, there are medications that can help you deal with the disease and live a longer, healthier life.

Second, if someone you know has HIV or AIDS, do not treat them any differently. Dealing with a potentially life threatening disease must be hard enough. Know that simple touching cannot transmit the disease, only the sharing of bodily fluids can. So in most cases, you're safe from contracting the disease. Be supportive of them instead of being cruel. Think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes.

Sometimes saving the world is a matter of change in attitude. The world would be a much happier place if everyone would be nicer towards each other. Never forget the golden rule.

Thanks for taking time out to change the world,


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