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AIDSing and abetting an epidemic

It's been a long-standing public policy that state health officials should track people who carry serious, communicable diseases. It's not a very nice thing to do, but it's been held a necessity for a very, very long time.

For some reason, though, AIDS has won an exception to the same rules that cover other sexually-transmitted diseases, along with other conditions like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, meningitis, and other conditions.

I don't quite grasp why this exception has been carved out, but it seems to have a lot of people awfully worked up.

Issues of public health should have no politics. Diseases don't come in "red" or "blue" strains. And based solely on medical issues, AIDS -- which has no cure, often no visible symptoms to warn people that they are at risk of spreading infection, and limited palliative treatments -- should be treated MORE strictly than lesser ailments. But that's not how things are handled.

I highly doubt this is the case, but the cynic in me wonders if these AIDS activists fight so hard against common-sense public health policies in the hopes of expanding their numbers, thus increasing public pressure on more research and more funding for a cure. But that is far, far too cynical, even for me.

Comments (14)

It's like when the bath hou... (Below threshold)

It's like when the bath house owners in SF resisted closing down even when it was definitively shown that their businesses were the source of many infections. They made the claim that to go after them was to go after gay people. (see "And the Band Played On" for details) You're right that diseases don't know politics. Activities which spread disease should be stopped, hopefully by the common sense of the people involved, but failing that, but governmental action.

Homosexuals have been made ... (Below threshold)

Homosexuals have been made into a special class in our society. Even with brainwashing err... education about how special they are in grade school.

This is something I have sa... (Below threshold)

This is something I have sat on for a long time. I remember back in the '70's when it was first noticed that there was some strange new disease that was affecting gay men in San Francisco. At that time the CDC jumped in and said that they need to treat this like any other contagious disease and try to cut off it's spread. Well, you would have thought they suggested that we should kill everybody's mother. The gay community went ballistic. Their main beef? The fear that the medical community would use the information obtained from this effort to identify gay men and then turn it over to businesses that would then refuse to hire gays. Parenthetically, they also had concerns about insurance companies refusing to provide them insurance because of being in a high risk population. Of course, they countered that with the result being a contribution to the higher cost of health insurance.
Thus, because of their totally selfish reasoning, the scourge was turned out on the population so that we are where we are today.

Cynical, yes... But likely... (Below threshold)

Cynical, yes... But likely to be right.

Eat at home, people! AIDS i... (Below threshold)

Eat at home, people! AIDS is not a legal reason to deny employment in the food service industry (circa 2002).

Ironically, AIDS, the almos... (Below threshold)

Ironically, AIDS, the almost 100% fatal disease was the mechanism by which "safe sex" was worked into the school curriculum. So.. instead of following abstinence, which can cut your risk of AIDS and other STD's to almost zero, the schools preach "safe sex" and now we have even more STD's, and the other problems that come with teenage unwed pregnancies.

Wouldn't want a stigma to be associated with AIDS.

If anyone remembers, this d... (Below threshold)

If anyone remembers, this disease was originally called GRID, not AIDS. The acronym stood for "Gay Related Immune Dificiency". The name was immediately decried by gays for the reasons mentioned by John above. Sad.

Want to worry about epidemi... (Below threshold)

Want to worry about epidemics? Worry about all those swarming cultures of viruses, bacteria, and parasites arriving daily with their undocumented host! The millions of illegals don't come with "childhood vaccination certificates".

One, just ONE, recent uninvited guest to Georgia cost the taxpayers at least one year's free room and board in the South Carolina tuberculosis hospital, in addition to the medical care resources he will consume to treat the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis he brought as his gift to America. His immediate contacts yielded over 50 people who tested positive for tuberculosis exposure, with all of those at risk of requiring future treatment.

HIV has no more political privilege as a disease than the hoards of "Typhoid Marys" loose in our nation. HIV in America is now, mostly, a disease of choice: you choose to engage in known high-risk behaviour and the outcome is the result of personal choice. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is infrequent, and accidental exposure by medical personnel and others is, like fetal transfer, greatly reduced with prophylactic treatment. The early stigma of HIV created the privacy protection law, but has hampered any epidemiological effort to track the disease early in the infection cycle. Many newly diagnosed patients are advanced in the disease state when first tested for HIV; tracked like syphyllus and other sexually transmitted diseases, no doubt, HIV would not be spread to as many people, and people could be treated earlier, before their immune system is shot to hell.

Bottom line, people with HIV don't transmit it to by you breathing their air like tuberculosis will, and people with HIV don't give it to you by touching your food like hepatitis will.

I believe America's health is better protected by tracking HIV like any other communicable disease. But, between worrying about whether I will get HIV by my choice of behaviors, and worrying about the one-in-fifteen residents of America who are illegal and possible carriers of unknown diseases, I worry about the millions of threats posed by un-innoculated and un-disease-tested un-invited guests to America.

I find it easier to blame R... (Below threshold)
the wolf:

I find it easier to blame Ronald Reagan than the people whose behaviors caused the spread of AIDS (and those who abetted those behaviours) in the first place.

Wayne: The vast majority of... (Below threshold)

Wayne: The vast majority of cases worldwide have nothing to do with gay sex. But this is a perfect example of the flip side of the politicization of AIDS, and one that's just as wrong as the gay activist crowd.

The vast majority of cas... (Below threshold)

The vast majority of cases worldwide have nothing to do with gay sex.

AIDS in Africa is based on sketchy, at best, diagnosis. For example, HIV is not required to be present to be viewed as having AIDS. Quite frankly, the poor diet is the cause of a LOT of the alleged cases of AIDS in Africa.

AIDS as we know it and AIDS as it is labelled in Africa is not close to the same thing.

But this is a perfect example of the flip side of the politicization of AIDS, and one that's just as wrong as the gay activist crowd.

AIDS is, almost universally, a disease borne out of behavior. It's not terribly easy to contract.

I am probably even more cyn... (Below threshold)

I am probably even more cynical.

The CDC can treat aids the way that it does because AIDS is not a disease according to established definitions. Political AIDS in the hands of the "vulnerable protected class" causes a river of money to flow.

Note that no one can cause AIDS with the HIV virus, that people who avoid the cell killer drug treatment and are HIV infected do not necessarially get AIDS, and persons with full blown AIDS often do not have HIV infections.

The CDC is crooked, self-serving, corrupt, useless, and dangerous.

I'll close now before I become harsh

"AIDS" is not a disease. I... (Below threshold)

"AIDS" is not a disease. It is an insurance word. It is defined as a point in the HIV infection when a person's immune system is depleted to 200 CD4 cells or less, or the person presents clinically with one of 30+ opportunistic infections that are associated with the loss of immune function. "AIDS" determines when an American can be declared medically "disabled" and is eligible to collect Social Security Disability. The joke on the taxpayer is that once defined as having "AIDS" and getting on disability, that person may start anti-retroviral treatment and become as healthy as anyone with a chronic condition, yet they keep on getting disability checks. Thousands of people with"AIDS" are walking around, able to work, but "entitlement" keeps them as wards of the public. Another political shame to add to politicians making HIV untrackable and a permanent monthly government check for those with AIDS, is that funding for drugs in the south(which costs the same everywhere in America) is half of what it is in NY, LA, and other large "blue" cities. Funding is based on population, not where the disease is.

All this information is ama... (Below threshold)

All this information is amazing. Any guess why we've never heard most of this in the MSM?






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