A suggestion about quarantining people living with HIV was presented at a House committee meeting Tuesday, The New Civil Rights Movement reports. Disregarding a long history of stigmatization and ignorance about HIV education, the proposal was made by Georgia Republican state Representative Betty Price, who cited what she “guessed” were high government costs for medical services and care.
Surveilling the sexual partners and tracking the contacts of people living with HIV were also suggestions from Price, whose husband Tom Price is also the Trump administration’s former Health and Human Services Secretary.
“My thinking sometimes goes in strange directions,’ Rep. Price admitted while attending a house study committee on Georgia’s barriers to access in adequate health care. “But before you proceed if you wouldn’t mind commenting on the surveillance of partners, tracking contacts, that sort of thing. What are we legally able to do?”
Price is a medical doctor who cited financial costs, not helping people, as the motivation for “curtailing the spread” of HIV/AIDS, the Civil Rights report says.
“I don’t want to say the quarantine word,” Rep. Price said. “but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise or are there any methods legally that we could do what would curtail the spread?”
Atlanta is the epicenter of a new HIV/AIDS epidemic, compared to even developing African countries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It seems to me it’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers, well not carriers, with the potential to spread, whereas in the past they died more readily and at that point they are not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they are not in treatment,” Price said.
Project Q Atlanta previously released an important report that reflects what needs fixing in the existing policies around HIV and AIDS, especially given that people in power could potentially make it even more dangerous for people living with HIV to live their lives.
“HIV advocates have been lobbying state lawmakers to change the laws to better reflect current science around HIV, which shows that the virus can’t be transmitted through spitting nor when an HIV-positive person is virally suppressed,” the report read. “They also argue HIV criminalization laws add stigma to HIV, keep people from getting tested, and oppress already marginalized populations such as LGBT people.”
When ill-informed people are tasked with the responsibility of taking care of at-risk populations, it’s only natural that their ignorance will harm those most impacted.
Georgia Lawmaker Thinks People With HIV Should Be Quarantined was originally published on cassiuslife.com