Printer Friendly

AIDS: don't ask who's to blame.

AIDS: Don't ask who's to blame

Because of its initial victims, AIDS has tended to gain the reputation of being restricted to some fairly well-defined groups -- most notably homosexual men. Haitians, drug addicts prostitutes and African. However, labeling such groups as "high risk" has led increasingly to their being blamed for the disease, contends public Health researcher Renee Sabatier of the nonprofit Panos Institute in alexandria, Va., which focuses on issues affecting Third World countires. But in her new study, "Blaming Others: Prejudice, Race and Worldwide AIDS," Sabatier argues that attempting to assign blame -- or even inadvertently appearing to do so -- can have serious repercussions.

For example, Sabatier notes, the focus of some researchers on AIDS' origins in Africa or the words they use to portray its growing incidence among low-income blacks and Hispanics has led some Africans and American blacks to characterize these scientists as racists. Though the medical/research community largely ignores these reactions. Sabatier says, this can be dangerous. "Bitterness over this racial aspect of AIDS has led some Africans and minority groups to deny that AIDS exists in their communities," she writes, potentially fostering the spread of this disease within those communities. Moreover, she says, new research -- even if extremely good -- may be ignored, rejected or criticized by many of those who could benefit most from it if they are suspicious of the motives of the scientists who developed the data.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:certain groups being blamed for cause
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 11, 1988
Previous Article:Surveillance among the library stacks.
Next Article:Arctic zone: signs of chemical destruction.

Related Articles
HIV ancestry traced in family tree.
AIDS and doctors: managing a communication crisis.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters