Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Korea’s Responses to AIDS

Tonight Sister Miriam Cousins will be giving a lecture for the Royal Asiatic Society titled "Korea’s Responses to AIDS":
Tonight’s speaker is uniquely well placed to tell us about the history of AIDS in Korea and the varying responses to it here. She will begin with a general introduction to HIV/AIDS, focusing on how it is spread, who the most vulnerable people are. Then she will survey the situation regarding HIV/AIDS in Korea, both among Korean people and among foreigners. A major issue everywhere concerns the availability of treatment, once a person has been found to be infected with the HIV virus. There are treatments now available that can prolong life for those infected almost indefinitely, but they must be begun at an early stage. Very often, those most at risk avoid being tested and by the time they are diagnosed they have developed full-blown AIDS and it is too late to do much for them. Sister Miriam has played a leading role in developing new forms of Christian ministry for PLWHA (people living with HIV/AIDS) and she will speak of her work in establishing shelters for people who have lost their jobs and been rejected by their families and communities because they have HIV/AIDS. 
More details about the lecture and Sister Miriam Cousins' interesting career can be found here. The lecture will be held at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Residents' Lounge on the 2nd floor of the Somerset Palace in Seoul, which is north of Jogyesa Temple, and is 7,000 won for non-members and free for members.


Ben said...

One the interesting aspects of Sister Miriam's work is that the stigma surrounding AIDS in Korea is so intense that she has to keep it a secret.

Shh! Don't Tell the Christians
"For example, even the Catholics in their area don’t know they are taking care of people with AIDS. It is believed that if the neighbors knew about the patients, the neighbors would assume that everyone coming and going from the house had AIDS. Fearing exposure to the virus, people in the area would not tolerate the program. The staff and the patients struggle with keeping the true purpose of the shelter a secret."

That's how we lost an free HIV voluntary testing center that used to be in Itaewon. It got pushed out of the neighborhood.

Shh! Don't Tell the Families
"When someone is first diagnosed with HIV/AIDS they wonder who to tell and who shouldn’t be trusted. Sometimes a family member is the last person they would tell. The fear of contracting AIDS is very strong, and the lack of real information is a big problem. One person thought she could get it from a handshake, another person was afraid to use a public phone in fear of contracting it that way."

Unknown said...


How far can English education go?