San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle (11/12/89), P. D-19
Accuracy, sensitivity, and objectivity are three good reasons to choose
words carefully, writes Bruce Hilton, especially when discussing
disenfranchised HIV-infected people. He writes that the difference
between HIV-infection and full-blown AIDS is important. People with AIDS
are eligible for some state and federal benefits, whereas symptom-free
HIV-infected people often lose jobs through bias without legal recourse.
Names of people with AIDS are reported to public health authorities; the
names of HIV carriers are confidential by law. Furthermore, he writes,
people with AIDS are not "victims," helpless and pitiful, so "it's
time...[to] get rid of the phrase, 'AIDS victim.'" Finally, the use of
the term "innocent" to denote babies born with HIV infection implies that
some people are guilty, Hilton writes, an inappropriate judgment in
response to illness and death and a term related to the belief that gay
sex is a sin.