I was saddened and dismayed when I heard a news story recently. It was about a local school - Milton Hershey School - which denied admission to the school to a 13 year-old boy who is HIV positive. The boy's mother is now suing the school. The story is here, if you haven't heard about it.
I am just flabbergasted that this sort of disinformation and discrimination exists in this day and age when we know so much about HIV and AIDS than we once did! I'm astonished that the school officials -apparently -didn't seek the advice of a medical professional before making their decision and shocked that they are unaware that people with HIV are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It just amazes me that anyone would think that this boy poses a huge risk when proper precautions should already be taken at the school to prevent transmittal of diseases through bodily fluids. That is, school officials should operate as if anyone could be infected with a blood-borne disease and act appropriately when dealing with bodily fluids.
I hope that this issue is resolved soon but it just highlights how persistent ignorance can be. I feel really bad for the boy to have to deal with this at the age of 13. I am glad to see that his name and image have been kept out of the news - at least for now.
Image of Antarctica from the International Space Station courtesy of NASA