Volume 91, Issue 23

Wednesday, October 8, 1997

glass houses


AIDS test critical

Re: When women test positive, Oct. 1

To the Editor:
I am a third-year female student at Western. Last year I went to the health center in the UCC to be tested for HIV. I was in a monogamous relationship and was not using condoms (I know, stupid!). As well, my former employment had put me in contact with blood on a fairly regular basis. For these reasons, I had made it my duty to be tested annually. After explaining my history to the doctors and nurses at the clinic, I was informed that my situation did not warrant a test. I was further informed that the Ontario health care system could not afford to administer the test to every "Tom, Dick and Harry". I was shocked! Are these "health care" officials not aware that AIDS is so rampant partially because people do not know they are infected? Do these individuals not understand what AIDS patients cost the health care system annually? Surely it's more cost effective to hit the problem at the source rather than paying for the consequences. Personally, I feel it takes a great deal of courage to ask to be tested and that anyone who is worried enough to ask for a test has obviously been at risk.

I was tested elsewhere and fortunately the results were negative. Yet, imagine if they were not and I didn't know! The fact of the matter is that AIDS affects everyone who is having sex. Condoms break, people cheat and the entire sexually active population of UWO is at risk. For this reason, the health clinic should be encouraging the test, not turning people away.

Andrea Jancelewicz
Economics III

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Copyright The Gazette 1997