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#132: HIV information : Augustin shares a letter

From: felix Augustin <felix_augustin@hotmail.com>

The following is a letter I sent to AAFP after I learnt from the Corbertland 
that they had mentioned 'Haiti' in their pamphlet on AIDS eduction.  I have 
also added below the response from AAFP.

Dear AAFP members,

Your organization currently distributes a handout to educate the public 
about AIDS.  That's a great job.  However, in the list of people who are at 
high risk to contact the virus, you mention the following "Anyone who has 
lived or was born in an area where HIV infection is common, such as Haiti".

Despite the high prevalence of AIDS in Haiti, your statement is completely 
unjust to Haiti, a poor country which has been trying very hard to revive 
its economy.  This statement is completely unfounded.  There is no evidence 
that living in Haiti causes someone to have AIDS unless that person 
practices unsafe sexual behavior.  Furthermore, Haiti is not the country 
with the most AIDS cases in the world.  There are statistical documents from 
the World Health Organization to prove it.  Anyway, why the finger pointing? 
  After all, AIDS is a worldwide disease which can be caught anywhere.

Despite congratulating you for the good education on ADS, I would recommend 
that you remove the mention of HAITI from your text and apologize to the 
people of Haiti for any harm this statement may have caused.  If you feel 
the need to mention high risk places with AIDS, at least do not mention one 
country (this is completely unfair), mention all.

I hope my advice was helpful in making your education on AIDS a successful 

Felix Augustin

From: "Leigh McKinney" <lmckinney@aafp.org>
Subject: Re: HIV information
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 09:10:52 -0500

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. We certainly  
understand and are sensitive to your concern. Please be reassured that we 
will take the appropriate steps to address the issue.
Leigh McKinney
Special Projects Manager
American Academy of Family Physicians
8880 Ward Pkwy
Kansas City, MO 64114

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