One Man in Finland is Standing Up to the Stigma of HIV
Author: Chase Holik
People are constantly challenging long-standing beliefs. Whether it’s the issue of homosexuality versus heterosexuality, transgender or the negative connotation of HIV and AIDS, people are going to push the envelope to try to raise awareness. Just because a person is HIV-positive doesn’t mean that they are bad people or that they are going to infect the world with their disease. They can still be good people that may need more love than most of us are even aware of. That’s why people step out of their comfort zone. It’s not necessarily to draw attention to themselves, but for the opportunity to impact someone else’s life who may not be bold enough to make a stand.
The notion of HIV/AIDS is still a serious one, but it really isn’t looked down upon as much as it has been in past years. For example, a man in Helsinki, Finland took a stand to challenge the perception of HIV/AIDS. What he did and what he found out was truly remarkable.
He stood near the busy capital of Finland with a sign saying that he was “HIV-positive, touch me.” We’ve probably all heard more than once that you don’t want to mess with a person that has AIDS because you could contract the disease. However, it didn’t take long for this man to attract people of all ages, men, women, and children. Not only did those strangers talk to him, but some of them actually shook his hand and gave him a hug. It was those moments that brought a grown man to tears because he knew he was making a difference.
Now this man didn’t do this to become a YouTube sensation. But now that he has garnered some national attention because of his actions, he is likely prouder than ever that he took a stand when no one else would.
These types of actions are becoming more popular nowadays throughout the world. People are becoming more comfortable in their skin, which compels them to stand up for what they believe in. The story about the man taking a stand and challenging the negative connation surrounding people with HIV is more than just about him. It is about other people that may be struggling with the fact that they are HIV-positive. It could also be about people that struggle with diseases or different beliefs in general that are too self-conscious to come out of their shell.
The point is that when people like this take a stand, they make a difference in the world. It’s something that we can all learn from and live by. Just because you are struggling with something doesn’t mean that you are the only one. If you have strong beliefs about something, then take a stand. Don’t let the stress of something as serious as AIDS or anything else get you down. Instead, make a difference in the world and raise awareness by doing something as simple as the man in Finland did.
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Not everyone in the world will approve of what you do, but it’s the people that you positively affect that should make it all worth it to you. So the next time you are struggling with whatever it is that you are going through, make a small positive gesture in someone’s life. Strike up a conversation with a stranger, because you never know if the person that you meet is going through a similar situation as you. Even if you aren’t going through any difficult times, still try to reach out to people because you could be a positive influence on their life and not even know