The main character in Philadelphia, Andrew Beckett, a young lawyer who is HIV positive is sacked from his job for apparently not being good enough. He knows it’s because of his HIV status.

READ THE following quotes from different stages of the film and answer the following questions:

In the courtroom
[The firm] discovered his [Beckett’s] illness, and ladies and gentleman the illness I’m referring to is AIDS, and…they panicked. And in their panic they did what most of us would like to do with AIDS which is to get it and everybody who has it as far away from the rest of us a possible.

I call it the 'Oh God' expression- as in 'Oh God, here comes that woman with AIDS'

I don't consider myself as any different from anyone else with this disease- I'm not guilty, I'm not innocent, I'm just trying to survive.

Librarian: Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in a research room?"
Beckett: No. Would it make you more comfortable?

  • What attitudes towards HIV do these quotes suggest?
  • What human rights do you think Andrew Beckett is denied?
  • Do you think this situation would happen today? Explain your answer.
  • How could you use this information in your campaign?

Now read this article about the experience of someone living with HIV telling his employers.

Your school or college is an employer of teachers, learning support assistants, administrative staff, cleaners and other ancillary staff. From what you have watched and read, make a list of top tips for schools to ensure they are not discriminating against any of their workers living with HIV.