• Vol. 41 No. 12, 625–627
  • 15 December 2012

Into the Shadow: A Reflection on the Stigma of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Singapore



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In 1984, early in the days of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, Ryan White, a 13-year-old haemophiliac who was infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after receiving a blood transfusion, was refused entry to school even though he posed no risk to other students. The ethical battles that ensued inspired one of today’s most iconic and poignant posters drawn by Jack Keeler in 1986. This poster of a child with outstretched hands speaking the words ‘I have AIDS, please hug me, I can’t make you sick’ has now become an internationally recognised symbol which has helped to address the psychological, social and emotional issues surrounding AIDS.

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