Precautions may not prevent spread of HIV

Campus Times
October 9, 1998

by Shiva Rahimi
Managing Editor


A young girl was dancing at a nightclub when she suddenly felt a sharp stabbing pain in her leg. She did not think anything of it, until she looked down and saw a large syringe injected in her leg. She started to panic and noticed that the syringe had a tiny note attached that read, "Welcome to the world of HIV." The girl was tested for the virus and was later found to be HIV positive. She had now truly entered the world of HIV.

This story was told by my best friend last weekend. Her younger sister called her from Portland, Ore., and told her about the incident that was all over the news channels. It was completely shocking to hear. I used to go to this same night club when I was back home in Portland and never would have imagined hearing this type of news from such a small city, because it was always thought that these sort of incidents were common in much larger cities, like New York or Los Angeles. However, these type of incidents are no longer limited to when and where they happen. The news was so disturbing. When retelling the the story, many others responded by saying that they had heard of the similar syringe incident at movie theaters and other public places.

What type of world are we living in? One would think that someone who is going through the pains and discomfort of living with a deadly virus would try to prevent it from happening to others. It just seems that these people are doing this strictly out of anger.

The virus that is being spread in this manner may spread at such an unpredictable rate, because there is no way of preventing it from happening. What precautions would the nation be required to take? Would everyone be told not to leave their homes or enter public places that may pose a risk of contracting the virus?

It was just last year that Nushawn Williams infected 11 young females in western New York state with the HIV virus. Williams was fully aware that he was HIV positive, but continued to have unprotected sex and directly infected these women.

This goes right along with the same idea of people purposely giving the virus to one another out of anger of having the virus to begin with.

The incident with Williams could have placed a risk on any individual who may have crossed his path. He already knew he was in the later stages of the virus and that there was a low chance for his own survival. So, basically, he thought it was logical to inflict his own pain on these innocent females.

The tragedy of the whole syringe story also depends on being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If the girl at the night club did not decide to go out that night she could have still been living a lifestyle that was free from the HIV virus. Then again, who and what determined her to be the one that was chosen to get stabbed with the syringe?

When living in Portland, I went to this particular night club. This could have happened to me, my family members, my best friend or even her sister on that same evening. It is really disturbing that in the future, going to a crowded night club, or sitting next to anyone in a crowded movie theater or any other public venue will be thought about twice.

There are some deadly diseases that cannot be prevented, but AIDS has been something that people have had the opportunity to prevent by taking simple precautions. That was until a group of people decided to make decisions for the majority by inflicting innocent victims with a deadly disease.

Shiva Rahimi, a sophomore broadcast major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at