If you’ve seen the 2004 action thrill, “I, Robot”, you are be familiar with Isaac Asimov’s work. Well, sort of… The movie is based on, or rather, “suggested” from the science fiction stories the author had written.
Unlike celebrities like Freddie Mercury and Eazy-E, whose promiscuity most likely led to the disease, Asimov contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. In 1977 he had a heart attack that required a triple bypass. Unfortunately the bypass resulted in the blood transfusion that turned Asimov’s life upside down.
When Asimov passed away in 1992, it was reported that heart and kidney failure killed the author. Ten years later Asimov’s widow revealed that his death was caused by AIDS. Upon his diagnosis, doctors told Asimov and his wife not to go public with the news that he was suffering from HIV, siting that the backlash and prejudice would reach his family. (source)
The AIDS Stigma
The AIDS stigma can be classified by the prejudice, negative feelings or backlash that people suffering from the disease get from people all around the world. It exists because AIDS is a fatal disease that is still closely associated with homosexuality and sexual activities which some groups see as punishable behavior. The stigma has led to loss of jobs, loss of reputation, and the destruction of marriages. (source)
AIDS is a very scary reality but treatment today is far beyond where it was when Asimov passed away. Many tests for HIV are available that can rapidly determine if one is HIV positive and thus, at risk for AIDS. Medications are available to treat HIV and attempt to stop its evolution into a life-threatening disease with a sad stigma.