victim A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, much energy has been expended in preventing people from referring to people living with AIDS, or HIV as "victims" or "sufferers." The emphasis today is on the empowerment of persons who are HIV+ or have AIDS:
people with HIV/AIDS are able to speak for or about themselves, and are able to determine policy despite their biased status. The term has also been condemned by AIDS activists, medical workers, and service providers because it elicits an improper emotional attitude in both volunteers and the so-called experts.
A second concern about the term "victim" is its relationship to violence. In this society, violence against persons who are HIV+ or have AIDS has occurred throughout the epidemic in varying degrees. "Blaming the victim" is a means by which society tells persons with HIV/AIDS that they caused it or brought it on themselves in some way. It is a myth that supports violence against persons with HIV/AIDS, violence which has been perpetrated by individuals and institutions. AIDS activists have, in many ways, successfully challenged victim-blaming views. People with HIV/AIDS have emerged; hiding is no longer an acceptable means for people with HIV/AIDS to protect themselves and their fellow PWAs (Persons With AIDS) from violence. Awareness of the "blame the victim" mentality is the first step toward prevention of AIDS-related violence.
victimization To apply "victim" status to another person or to a group of people; as regards the AIDS epidemic, the victimization of persons who are HIV+ or have AIDS. See victim.
vidarabine An antiviral agent that inhibits dna synthesis and is effective in the treatment of HERpes simplex and herpes varicella zoster virus. It has also been shown to be effective against HERPES SIMPLEX ENCEPHALITIS. Also called ADENINE ARABI-noside and ARA-A. (Trade name is Vira-A.)
vif gene one of nine genes that make up the two identical strands of RNA that compose HIV. The vif gene encodes a protein that determines how infective the virus will be. Deletion of the vif gene from the virus produces a viral particle that is a thousandfold less infective than the normal virus.
villoma See papilloma.
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