Adding insult to injury: Why do healthcare professionals stigmatize victims of unsafe healthcare with accusations of sexual promiscuity?

23 Mar

Don't Get Stuck With HIV

I can’t answer the question in the title, and I don’t want an answer. What I want is that healthcare pros stop sliming suffering people with unsupported suspicions and accusations.

In a recent example of this reprehensible behavior, a senior member of Liberia’s Ebola Case Management Team speculated that a Liberian woman identified with Ebola in mid-March – several weeks after the last previous Liberian tested positive for Ebola – might have “had sex with a survivor” (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/liberia-investigates-latest-ebola-patient-infected-29805278).

The infected woman has 5 children and a modest job – selling food in the market (http://www.gnnliberia.com/articles/2015/03/22/liberia-int%E2%80%99l-partners-visit-latest-ebola-victims%E2%80%99-home). Having Ebola is a heavy burden for the woman and her family and a threat to her neighbors. For her to be slimed in public – by a government official speculating about her sexual behavior – can only add to their sorrow and confusion.

What is the most likely source of her infection? Based on…

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