Forum: Dispel society's misconceptions and fears about HIV

I applaud the courage of Ms Nurafiqah, the first Singapore woman to openly declare her HIV status (Born with HIV, she's telling her story to fight stigma, Dec 20).

In the past, HIV-positive patients were assumed to be homosexual or people who were sexually promiscuous.

Patients with HIV are struggling to fight the illness. Why stigmatise and discriminate against them?

Medical science has advanced over the years, and HIV can now be treated. Patients taking antiretroviral medication can reach a stage where the viral load is undetectable, which stops HIV transmission.

If HIV is no longer a death sentence, why does society have to pass a sentence on those living with it?

Sharing food, using the same toilet seat, swimming or hugging an HIV-positive person will not spread the virus.

HIV patients can contribute to society just like any other person when given the same opportunities.

Create more awareness campaigns and educate the public about HIV.

Let's build a more inclusive society and hope that fears and misconceptions about HIV can be lessened in Singapore.

Elliot Taylor Hong

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