At some point in our lives many have felt afraid to talk about certain things because of how we feel others may see us. This is something that people living with AIDS deal with quite often. In this, the topic of HIV/AIDS often holds negative stigmas across cultures. These stigmas are often due to lack of knowledge, certain resources, as well as fixed traditions. In South Africa, in some areas, the stigmas associated with HIV/AIDS comes from traditional beliefs of the supernatural. While in Puerto Rican culture, the negative stigmas are associated with religious based values and norms. Through this it is important that measures are taken to help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS – as South Africa and Puerto Rico are one of the many cultures whose HIV/AIDS stories go untold.   

The stigmas that HIV/AIDS victims in these countries fall victim to is unfair.  This stigmas from their own people usually lead to depressive symptoms and dangerous means of coping. On a broader scale, these country’s voices go unheard. With Puerto Rico being a territory of the U.S. it puts into perspective the way in possible awareness and help can be brought forth. As human beings, when we learn of certain illness and diseases, we should not only look at it for our environment, but for other people in the world as well. For the U.S. specifically, it seems that our problems are typically broadcast and looked at as an imperative circumstance and once solved, the same attention is not given to others.   What is significant about the voices of the cultures going unheard is the fact that it brings about a chain reaction. The people dying in South Africa and Puerto Rico of HIV/AIDS directly affects many of the people living in the United States as well as all over the world. Ignoring what is happening to a specific group of people  does not mean that the problem is isolated. The growing rates and travel allows for the ease of cross regional interaction brings possibility of any and everyone coming into contact with HIV/AIDS. Given this, there should be a plan put into place to eradicate the disease all over the world. At the time that AIDS was prevalent in the U.S., there were various call for action and many implementation for change. This should be done all over the world to help our fellow human beings.  

San Juan Background Department of Education PRDOH STD/HIV Prevention

Peace Corps