A 2-year-old boy was denied access into a pool and shower at an RV park in Alabama because of his HIV positive health status.
The young boy was on vacation with his foster parents, Dick and Silvia Glover, when they decided to take a trip down to the swimming pool in Wales West RV park in Silver Hill Alabama where the RV park owner, Ken Zadnicheck, denied the boy access into the pool and shower because he feared that the boy could have transmitted the disease to others. It is still unsure as to how the owner learned of Caleb’s health status, it is very possible that the park owner could have learned this information via a desk clerk who held a conversation with Silvia Glover earlier on, about the boy’s health condition and the possibility of adopting the young boy.
The park owner’s decision of banning the young boy was derived from the unawareness he possessed towards the HIV virus he explained, according to ABC News. “We weren’t sure if somebody could get the virus if the child upchucked on them or from blood or what. We didn’t know what the risk was. That’s why we asked for something from their doctor or the county health department.”
The owner of the park did indirectly apologize to the parents in an Alabama newspaper for his actions, “I’m not responsible for their feelings. I’m responsible for the well-being of everybody in the park. If their feelings got hurt, I’m sorry. That’s the way it’s got to be.”
The couple both hurt and saddened made the decision of leaving the park that day. The foster parents, Dick and Silvia Glover of the 2 year old toddler (named Caleb) expressed on Good Morning America weekend edition, how hurt they felt and how unfair the young boy was treated, Dick Glover stated ;”Little Caleb, he was innocent as can be,”. “It was not his fault he was born with AIDS.” The Glovers just want to make Caleb’s life as joyous as possible being that his life expectancy is at 7 years.
Being that this is the year 2007, where technology has boomed and prospered and HIV information is a lot more credible and available to the public, it is under speculation whether the boy’s race played a part in the boy’s prohibition into the pool, the 2 year old is African American.
For sometime many Americans have viewed the subject of HIV/AIDS as taboo, and male homosexuals and African Americans were recognized as the face of HIV/AIDS. The subject became so taboo that myths of the HIV transmission prospered, and many held those myths as credible, those myths have reached into new generations and have deceived many individuals. The subject of HIV became so taboo that people strayed away from learning about it and people talked about it less, many people held that, It won’t happen to me attitude, fortunately, today foundations and television networks are taken an advantage of the media to educate individuals on HIV/AIDS for example, Viacom and The Kaiser Family Foundation have partnered together to create, the HIV awareness campaign, “The Know Is Spreading,” which encourages people to get tested for HIV and aims to normalize HIV/Aids as a normal part of routine healthcare. Conscious Rapper and Smokin’ Aces Actor, Common has been deemed the face of this campaign which is great because the campaign will have the potential of generating much attention from young individuals, as well as those who admire the Rapper/Actor.
Networks like BET and Lifetime have presented segments that focused on educating those about the HIV virus.
BET presented a series; “Naked Truth” documentaries which depicted the lives of 6 young ordinary women infected with the HIV virus and also “examined how attitudes around sexuality and sexual identity affect the sexual health of African Americans.” The Lifetime network just recently premiered the movie “Girl Positive” which tells the story of a young high school aged girl who may have contracted the HIV virus.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS and not everyone with the virus gets the AIDS disease HIV can only be contracted via blood, semen, vaginal secretions, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. HIV can not be contracted though a person’s vomit, or sharing a shower or swimming pool.
It is important to get tested for HIV, doing so can decrease the transmission of the virus, and/or make possible early medical intervention. One of the main reasons why HIV is spreading so quickly in America is because infected people do not even know that they are infected, because they feel and appear healthy and they have no symptoms of the virus because with HIV there are often no precise symptoms to really determine HIV or to signal the person that they may be sick, these infected people then transmit the disease to their partners by engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse, and this process repeats itself, creating a mass epidemic.
There are many testing centers, and health clinics that offer free, confidential HIV testing. Confidential testing is anonymous, meaning that a person’s information is not taken, instead of a person being verified by personal information; they are verified by a set of numbers. Confidential testing is optional, but it is beneficial to a person who wants to keep their results private.
During the HIV testing a sample of the person’s blood is taken via a needle. The blood is then sent to a lab to be tested for HIV antibodieswhich will determine if a person is HIV positive. A person should get tested at least 6 weeks- and in rare cases (6 month)s after their last unprotected sexual activity, and this is because it can take from 2weeks- to 6 months but usually 3 months for a person’s blood to produce the HIV antibodies. In many instances, a person gets tested too early after their last sexual encounter and the result is shown as negative when in reality the person may be positive. The results usually take up to a two weeks to be received, and that is when a person should go back to the clinic or center to retrieve the results. If a person’s result is positive there will be a second and third test conducted to determine if the results are definite. There will also be counseling available for persons with positive results.
Being tested negative for the HIV virus does not deem anyone invincible so it is best to always use caution and intelligence when engaging in sexual activities and any person who has not received testing should do so because, yes, it can happen to you.
ABC News, “Couple; HIV 2 Year Old Barred From Pool” (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Story?id=3356281&page=1)