Belinda Mason

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Belinda Mason was a short-story writer, a reporter for a Kentucky newspaper, and a well-known journalist in her small home town of Eastern Kentucky. Mason was also a daughter, sister, wife and mother of two beautiful children. Unfortunately, Mason died at an early age from complications of AIDS. Mason’s life and death had a substantial impact on the state of Kentucky. According to Hilts (1991), after Mason gave birth to her second child in 1987, she became infected with the HIV virus while receiving a blood transfusion and it was unfortunate that the untested blood she received in the hospital was contaminated (Hilts, 1991). Mason was a great an example to society that HIV and AIDS did not discriminate against anyone’s race, sex, age, gender, …show more content…

She worked hard to accomplish her goals and refused to let her illness get in the way of accomplishing what she set out to do. Highly involved in AIDS organizations, Mason advocated for those with the HIV virus and AIDS. According to Kramer (1991), Mason was the founder of the Kentuckiana People with AIDS, which was the first group in Kentucky that was dedicated to fighting for a cure of AIDS. She was a member of the AIDS Action Council, which was a national AIDS lobbying group. In addition, Mason was the president of the National Association of People with AIDS, an advocacy group. Lastly, in 1989 President Bush appointed Mason to the National Commission of AIDS to advise lawmakers and the president on issues that had to do with the AIDS disease (Kramer, 1991). After being stigmatized herself, lying on her death bed, “Mason wrote a letter to President Bush to ask him to use his influence to keep people with AIDS from being stigmatized” (Kramer, 1991). According to Hilts (1991), “The letter was entered into the Congressional Record by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who has proposed a law that would jail any doctor or other health worker who is infected and continues to treat patients” (Hilts, 1991). As a result of her letter, “it’s now a Class D felony in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to transfuse untested blood,” furthermore, her efforts brought forth the Kentucky Omnibus AIDS Act that was

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