636 Fighting Aids

Patricia talks about what she is doing to help with the global Aids crisis.

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Joel: So, you're from a smaller island. What kind of concerns do people on your island have or what kind of concerns do you have?

Patricia: For the world you mean?

Joel: Right. Right.

Patricia: Well recently, when I was in high school I had a friend's aunt who died from AIDS and she was probably the first victim of AIDS, the first AIDS victim in our country and from then on I've had a concern about AIDS. I think it's a very sad issue that should be--people should be concerned with at present and being at a university that is in Asia at the moment I think that the country that I'm living at now (which is Japan). They have this issue but the thing is their cultural understanding is a bit limited to a certain degree whereby they're not allowed to accept the fact that there are AIDS victims. So I think that like other countries Japan should be one of the countries that should be concerned with AIDS, should have projects and should have workshops and lectures to discuss certain things.

Joel: You're involved in those sort of things here aren't you?

Patricia: Yes I am. I'll be organizing an event particularly for the AIDS lectures and workshops which will be held in December. We'll be discussing and we would like to come up with a summary which basically teaches Asian students, basically Japanese students about the importance of accepting AIDS in their community and how they should be aware of it and how they should be on the safe side rather than on the not-so-safe side. So...yeah.

Joel: I see. So it sounds like you keep yourself very busy.

Patricia: One has to be.

Joel: I don't know when you have time to study.

Patricia: I put in time for that as well.

Joel: What will you actually teach them at the conference like specific things to make them aware?

Patricia: A lecture. We have lectures which is basically done by doctors or health clinic individuals who know more about AIDS. Then we facilitate students from our university who have researched or who have had previous experience with the disease or who have worked at a medical institute for example or have worked with people who have AIDS before. We use these individuals to be facilitators whereby we have workshops and they will teach people who will be coming to our conference or our meeting about the program. What they do is they give out condoms and we write posters and we inform them of issues of how AIDS comes about, the origins of AIDS anyways. How it comes about, what should be done when you have it, who you should be consulting with, what other diseases or sickness or how you can actually get AIDS.

And we also, the other things we do is we inform them of how important the victims of AIDS--we should actually be supporting them as well. Like, that's what we teach them we give ideas of how these families, these victims, what they go through when they are having the disease, how their families oppose them. Some people don't really accept their children once they have AIDS for example. So what we do is that we teach individuals that in a humane sort of way, a disease which kills and is caused probably by either your own choice is something that you also have to have that concern for them. You have to say, "Oh I'm sorry that you have AIDS but would you like support?" This is the important thing. I think it's basically to do with a humane cultural view. Not cultural view but a more humane global view.


Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


My friend's aunt was probably the first victim of AIDS in our country.

A 'victim' is a person who suffers as a result of what happens to her. Usually when you talk about someone being a victim of disease, it means that the person died from the disease. Notice the following:

  1. He lost the ability to walk when he was a victim of a car accident.
  2. It sounds like you are just a victim of bad luck.

certain things

I think we all have to have workshops and lectures to discuss certain things.

'Certain things' are specific topics that must be discussed. Notice the following:

  1. Generally, he is very hard-working, but there are certain things that he really doesn't like to do.
  2. There are certain things that we want to promote at different times of the year.

medical institute

Someone who has worked at a medical institute would know more about AIDS.

A 'medical institute' would be any institution, such as a clinic or hospital, that deals with diseases and medicine. Notice the following:

  1. Medical institutes can be scary places if you are in a different country, and you don't know how to communicate.
  2. He is comfortable with illness, because he has done volunteer work at a few medical institutes.


These individuals can serve as facilitators for the workshops or discussions.

A 'facilitator,' in this sense, would be someone who leads discussions or coordinates the work of a group. Notice the following:

  1. He works as a facilitator to help people work out problems for themselves.
  2. We are looking for a facilitator for next week's topic.


It must be difficult for AIDS victims when their own families oppose them.

If you 'oppose' something, you are against it. In this case, when a victim's family opposes him, the family no longer accepts him and doesn't want him around the family. Notice the following:

  1. Are you opposed to the idea of driving that far?
  2. Many students are opposed to the new changes that have been made in the university.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
victim • certain • institute
facilitator • opposed
  1. There is a lot of research done at the universities medical .
  2. Her work as a for volunteers helped get a lot of things done in the community.
  3. Their son was a of an electrical fire.
  4. There are things about your parents that you are never going to change.
  5. He is very to eating meat, so could you find a vegetarian restaurant?