Monday, August 22, 2011

Ask a Korean! News: AIDS in Korea

Here is a short piece of news about AIDS in Korea. Thankfully, most people with AIDS are alive:

Reports showed that the man and woman who were found to be the first AIDS patients in Korea in the 1980s are still alive. According to the Center for Disease Control, Korea's first official AIDS patient was 55-year-old Mr. A, who contracted the disease in 1985. Mr. A discovered that he contracted AIDS from abroad when he was getting tested for donating blood in Korea. Mr. A has been undergoing treatment, and has been living a healthy life.

Ms. B, the first Korean female AIDS patient who contracted the disease through sexual contact, also is in relatively good health. Ms. B lives with her son, who is in late 20s and born before she contracted the disease in 1988. The son does not have AIDS, exemplifying that living with an AIDS patient is not problematic.

The officer from the CDC said: "As long as an AIDS patient continues to undergo treatment, he can live out his expected life expectancy," and added "American NBA basketball star Magic Johnson has been living for 20 years since he contracted AIDS in 1991, thanks to effective management of the disease."

To date, there have been 7656 Korean AIDS patient. 82 percent, or 6292 patients, are still alive.

국내 에이즈 첫번째 환자 26년간 생존 [Dong-A Ilbo]

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  1. FYI, Koreans don't differentiate between AIDS and HIV. Magic Johnson contracted HIV, but it was never developed into AIDS.

  2. South Korea's mandatory (and free, I believe) treatment for HIV makes the country's handling of the disease a bit unique.

    That's a good way to (a) prevent HIV from becoming AIDS and (b) prevent non-HIV-infected people from becoming HIV-infected.

  3. I wonder why it only says the man contracted it abroad but made a point of saying the female contract it sexually. Not that it matter who they got it, I am just curious why there is a difference in reporting.

    It seems it was skewed to make him more honorable (it stated he FOUND OUT when he was donating blood but doesn't say how he got it) and hers more dirty (bad woman, it doesn't say how she found out but how she got it during sex). Does it mean the first man gave it to the first woman when she had sex with him? If not, then that only leads to the assumption that he gave it to multiple men (how?)in the country (since it does not mention she got it abroad) and she had to have had sex with one of them.

    How sad.

  4. Now, Korea needs to start sex ed in schools so they know that condoms are for more than just preventing pregnancy. Conversations like these need to stop happening to me in Korea:

    -"How do you know you don't have an STD?"
    -"Well, I've only ever had unprotected sex with my girlfriends. How could I get an STD?"


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