If you’re unfortunate enough to have happened upon a HIV story in the Daily
Fail Mail this morning you may have come across a scaremongering article which suggests that “Refugees are more likely to have HIV, TB, salmonella, Chagas disease and scabies.”
They also say that “Infectious diseases which were thought to be on the decline are now re-emerging as refugees carry bugs and viruses across borders”.
While there are elements of truth in the Daily Mail’s reporting, it negates to mention how these individuals, men, women & children, family units, extended family units and innocent people, farmers, doctors, labours etc.. have all survived perilous escapes from war zones and their immune systems have been weakened by physical exhaustion, a lack of safe food, clean water and medicine.
Professor Harkan Leblebicioglu, (head of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology) has said that “most people have little to worry about, because transmission usually requires close contact.”
To reiterate, (in terms of HIV transmission), you would need to be exceptionally close, to the point of sexual or needle penetration to acquire HIV from
a refugee anyone. The comments in the Daily Mail article are disgusting at worst, absurdly humorous at best.
It’s unfair to assign use HIV stigma to a group of people who are already prejudiced against because of their refugee status, let’s not further stigmatise them based on their health conditions but instead offer support and compassion.
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