Noriyasu Akase (赤瀬範保 Akase Noriyasu ) was the first person in Japan to admit publicly that he was HIV positive. He appeared on a television interview and was the subject of media scrutiny until his death. He and his family faced discrimination because of his condition.
In 1988 Akase appeared in an interview televised by NHK. In it he said, "I’ll just be pleased if you show me as an ordinary old man with hemophilia, an old timer who contracted HIV and is having fun despite his disability. I'd like my friends to have courage and spend their time in a meaningful way. It's okay to worry and it's okay to think about all sorts of things, but time marches on, no matter how much you worry."
Akase's wife was fired from her nursing job after her employer discovered that her husband had HIV. She was subsequently fired six more times from new employers for the same reason.
- Cullinane, Joanne (March). "Tainted Blood and Vengeful Spirits: The Legacy of Japan's Yakugai Eizu (AIDS) Trial.". Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 29 (a): 5–31.
- Pollack, Andrew (7 August 1994). "Japan May Have to Face Up to AIDS - Page 3 - New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 October 2011.