A person with AIDS should be described as just that - A Person with AIDS or a PWA, according to a Utah advocacy group that has asked the media to abandon such terms as victim and patient.
Describing someone with AIDS as a victim "dehumanizes PWAs by emphasizing their deaths rather than their strength in living with AIDS," a press release from the People with AIDS Coalition of Utah stated.The coalition founded by two Utahns with AIDS also takes issue with the term AIDS patient. "Many people with AIDS are healthy for months and even years at a time; not everyone spends his or her days in a hospital.
"Most importantly, AIDS is much more than a medical phenomenon. People with AIDS shouldn't be reduced to this one aspect of their lives," the release explains.
Finally, the coalition suggested doing away with referring to someone with AIDS as an innocent victim, saying that "encouraging the presumption that PWAs are morally `different' impedes the effectiveness of efforts to educate the public about ways to protect themselves from AIDS."