And to clear this bit of semantics up, people don't die of AIDS. They die of AIDS complications, "opportunistic infections" from a weakened immune system as a result of having AIDS. Specificity and accuracy are important here when we're talking about removing societal stigmas.
Needless to say, fans aren't happy.
\u201cok ONE more post bc I AM SO SO UPSET\n\n [SPOILERS]\n\nYou had a character that struggled with drug addiction + homelessness FINALLY gets a loving family and a shot at a bright future and you... kill him off with AIDS??? ARE YOU SERIOUS?????\n#13reasonswhy4 #13ReasonsWhy\u201d
\u201c#13ReasonsWhy did they seriously not mention justin getting hiv till the last episode... honestly saying he died from an overdose during his relapse would've been a more believable death for him\u201d
In 2020, HIV isn't a death sentence. When properly treated, many people who have the virus are able to lower the amount of it in their body to the point that it's undetectable, which means they can't transmit it to other people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that in 2017. Many people who are HIV-positive are not only living but thriving.
In a time where so many people living with HIV still face discrimination and stigma, it's irresponsible for Netflix to perpetuate stereotypes. But what can we expect from a consistently problematic series that introduced a gay character, sent him to prison for his violent sodomization of a classmate in the season prior, had him murdered by a prison mate, then had some random British girl swoop in and frame him for a separate murder the leads of the show committed, all in fewer than five episodes?
There is a silver lining in all of this. It's over. We can finally wake up from this nightmare of a series. It can't torment us anymore. We can finally know peace.