2005 February 15 Tuesday
Some Gay Activists Ready To Get Semi-Tough Toward HIV Spreaders

Andrew Jacobs has an article in the New York Times about how some gay activists have become so frustrated by continued irresponsible sexual behavior by HIV-infected gays that the activists want to take more aggressive actions to stop HIV-infected people from spreading the disease.

As news of a potentially virulent strain of H.I.V. settles in, gay activists and AIDS prevention workers say they are dismayed and angry that the 25-year-old battle against the disease might have to begin all over again.

While many are calling for a renewed commitment to prevention efforts and free condoms, some veterans of the war on AIDS are advocating an entirely new approach to the spread of unsafe sex, much of which is fueled by a surge in methamphetamine abuse. They want to track down those who knowingly engage in risky behavior and try to stop them before they can infect others.

Well duh. The disease has been around for about a quarter of a century. During this time the vast majority of the vocal and politically active gays (with notable honorable exceptions such as Chandler Burr) have worked hard to defeat the conventional public health policy response used against dangerous epidemic diseases: a systematic effort to identify all infected and prevent them - by force of law if necessary - from spreading the dangerous pathogen they carry. The irresponsibility of all these activists in blocking standard public health measures has allowed continued disease spread, plenty of ill people, continued avoidable deaths and lots of costs to the rest of society. The anti-retrovirals are not a reason for complacency. The anti-retrovirals used in the "HAART" therapies have all sorts of nasty side effects and HIV patients are at greater risk of liver cancer and other fatal illnesses.

Now apparently the lack of any cure on the horizon and the continued spread of the disease has, after a couple of decades, finally led at least some gay activists to conclude that more drastic measures are needed to stop the spread of the disease.

But the measures discussed in the article still fall short of a full public health response and assorted predictable fears are still voiced:

"You have to remember that was the era when Jesse Helms and others were saying that gay people got what they deserved, and that the government shouldn't spend any money to help them," said David Evans, an H.I.V. treatment advocate who writes about prevention. "There was a time when people thought, 'Oh my god, they're going to put us in camps.' "

Think about that. They are against locking up any HIV-positive people. Effectively this means that many gays have been arguing basically for a legal right to kill other people through passing a deadly disease during sex.

Why has the general public tolerated this level of irresponsibility? Basically because once it became clear to most heterosexuals that their odds of getting HIV and AIDS were very low that there was no reason to demand the implementation of real public health measures to stop the spread of HIV.

I see two ways that HIV could have been stopped. First off, the simplest would have been to test anyone who was at risk of being HIV positive (gays, junkies, sexual partners of those found to be HIV positive). Then put all HIV-positive people in isolated communities. This is what was done with tuberculosis and other diseases. Get a communicable disease that is deadly? Get locked up or otherwise isolated.The forced isolation of all HIV positive has the problem that it would punish even those who were willing to give up sex once they learned of their HIV status.

Another approach would be to maintain a record of all HIV positive people and whenever a newly HIV positive person was discovered trace back who they got it from and if anyone who was found to know of their HIV status was in that chain of sexual contacts at a date after that person learned of their HIV status then that person could have been locked up. To make this system workable as a method to stop the spread of disease a large number of people would need to be classified as gay or as junkies or as members of other at-risk groups and then by force of law required to be periodically tested. This approach would allow HIV-positive people who do not pass on their virus to others to remain free.

My expectation is that a substantial portion of the gay population will continue to act irresponsibly killing each other (and occasionally some of the rest of us) and an even larger portion of the gays will continue to block a traditional public health response to the disease. While doing this they will cry out for even higher funding for HIV/AIDS research and for greater respect and acceptance from the rest of us.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 February 15 12:58 PM  Civilizations Decay


Comments
drew said at February 15, 2005 2:05 PM:

That's all fine and dandy, Randall, but I think the PC BS that's going on is the problem.

HIV/AIDS is a gay disease. Homosexuals should own their problem and their unnatural lifestyle.

Point being, we wouldn't be paying outrageous insurance and prescription premiums if we would just force reality on the perpetrators.

No not stick that in his ass or no medical for you. Lots of Problems solved.

anon said at February 15, 2005 3:57 PM:

Randall,
Let me suggest that the names of HIV-positive people should be public knowledge. Nobody would have sex with someone known to be HIV+. If someone wants to know if their partner is HIV+, then they could go to the public health registry website and check for that partner's name.
Unfortunately, the process for requiring people to submit to HIV tests would infringe on civil rights. The government could target high risk groups for mass testing: anybody who is arrested, people on public assistance. Targeting groups of gays would be hard, though. A second source of names for testing would be to allow private citizens to name targets for testing and pay the expenses for that someone to get HIV testing. The private citizen would fill out an affidavid that he believes the target person is in a high risk group and he wants that person to submit to a test. Then a 'subpeona' would be served and the target would have to get tested. Jilted lovers would be the most likely users. Obviously, this would become a common tactic during divorce proceedings, child custody disputes, civil ligitation. It has a potential to be abused, but testing won't require that much time: fifteen minutes. But it is one way to access the knowledge of private citizens.

I don't know if this is done already. But HIV+ prisoners should be segregated from the general population.

rdg said at February 15, 2005 4:20 PM:

drew:

You're sounding like Castro.

That's usually a bad sign.

Randall Parker said at February 15, 2005 4:54 PM:

anon,

Why does it violate a person's civil rights to force them to submit to HIV tests? Are you aware of how much power historically public health authorities have always been granted to deal with disease outbreaks? People were allowed to be confined to their houses or to institutions if they were infected or (in pre-biochemical test days) even suspected of being infected. Testing has been allowed for a long time. Vaccinations have been a requirement to enroll in schools for many jurisdictions for decades, perhaps even longer than a century. None of this has been controversial.

If the tests were cheap enough then everyone could be tested. Keep in mind that there are ways to poll blood together in batches and see if it tests positive. Then if it does each contributing sample could be tested.

HIV+ prisoner segregation: I've read it is done but not universally. Yes, it should be done automatically.

wretchard said at February 15, 2005 4:55 PM:

Once the cost of AIDS gets high enough it will force people to do whatever it takes to stop it. While the perception of AIDS in developed countries has been dominated by the "gay" issue, in Africa and perhaps the Muslim world, it has been similarly distorted by other cultural traditions. However you cut it, AIDS has become a special disease because it has to do with sex. But nature is not to be persuaded and the disease will kill regardless. The only difference is that the decisive action will come later, rather than sooner; and deaths in the hundreds of millions instead of the hundreds of thousands. As with heart disease and lung cancer and other fairly preventable diseases, people mostly leave things until it is too late. And none so blind as those who will not see.

Randall Parker said at February 15, 2005 5:36 PM:

Wretchard,

I wish I could convince people we ought to make much bigger pushes to cure all diseases. Yes, I agree: people wait till it is too late to take action. They do it with lousy diet, lack of exercise, the polluted air they willingly breathe in cities, by smoking and other harmful addictions, and by not supporting a much faster pace of biomedical research.

John S Bolton said at February 16, 2005 1:22 AM:

If triple-drug resistant fast-killing HIV makes its move, this will force a consideration of draconian methods. There is no way medical science can keep up with something that acquires resistance ten or more times faster than new classes of drugs can be found. Considering the rights of the net taxpayer, on whose funds these drugs were developed to a large percentage, the privacy claim of those spreading resistant virus, thus nullifying the net taxpayers investment, must yield. All those getting tested for HIV would then be required to give samples to authorities obliged to root out those spreading HIV, by genetic analysis of the virus to trace it to its spreader. Those who fail to provide such samples may then be prevented from legally obtaining further tests, treatment or drugs, where aggression on the net taxpayer was used to develop these in the first instance. Then, also, imprisonment, quarantine, or first offense adjudications, according to the scale of the spreading involved, could be administered.

Proborders said at February 20, 2005 12:26 PM:

Randall and John, prospective immigrants should be tested for AIDS/HIV. People who have AIDS/HIV should not be let into the country. The US can send medical missions abroad to treat people with AIDS/HIV.

anonymous coward said at February 22, 2005 2:50 PM:

I believe that originaly the public health authorities were ready to treat this as any other STD; they had already enjoyed great success with contact-tracing, etc. in fighting syphillis. But politics trumped science, and the homosexual community objected to this approach, effectively neutering public health procedures that had worked well in the past. When things get desperate enough, as wretchard says, the politics will shift.

In the meantime a lot of untruth and propaganda is spread about the disease, including the idea that people of normal habits and tastes are at risk.

Ucan't be serious? said at February 28, 2005 6:43 PM:

I still cannot believe the amount of hatred this "disease" has managed to stir in people who have not dealt with thier own fears and phobias. If you read the latest research on this "disease" you will see that even the global medical community does not agree that HIV is 100% transmitable via sexual contact(see www.virusmyth.ca) Please read the statistics before you start acting like Hitler and his goons. Perhaps we should gas them or make them wear triangles?.
The scientific community is split on this issue. The scientific community has been wrong many times before with many diseases, just check your history books. But reading these comments just once more speaks to the ignorance and hatred that awaits anyone who does not conform to some peoples perception of what they think acceptable behaviour is.
There is alot evidence that HIV does cause AIDS, much evidence on people living that have been exposed to the virus without any symptoms and continue to live healthy long lives.Women who bear children and Gay men who flourish despite the opposition they encounter everyday.
"Big Medicine" love diseases, how else do they make money?. It would be a big fiscal loss for them if a "cure" was found. I am an AIDS activist and have witness countless deaths of innocent people over a 15 year period, most of which died from the toxic drugs that were administered to them telling them it would make them "better"

Curious how Gay men and Blacks have been the main "victims" of this. Based on what I have read in these comments it makes perfect sense to me.

By the way Drew - heterosexual people have anal intercourse too.


Randall Parker said at February 28, 2005 7:08 PM:

Hi nut case spykeseven "Ucan't be serious",

So do you think you are being compassionate by arguing that HIV doesn't cause AIDS? Then how do you explain the fact that HAART therapy caused a huge reduction in AIDS deaths in America and other Western countries?

If you are an AIDS activist who has fought against a rational public health response to AIDS then you have blood on your hands. The blocking of the public health response has killed tens of thousands of people in the United States.

Hatred? So you think being rational about AIDS is "hatred"? What an irrational nutcase you are. And a killer too. You should be ashamed of yourself.

John S Bolton said at March 6, 2005 8:54 PM:

Look at the quality of response used by the AIDS activist. Instead of a rational argument, he tries to set up a false dilemma where, either we legalize attempted murder, or we set up gas chambers to process the HIV carriers. Not one word is, or even can be, suggested as to how our alternatives are thus to be assumed to be so sharply limited. This indicates an extreme poverty of available arguments in favor of the activists' cause, as does the ad hominem characterization of their opponents as having phobias. The loser of an argument has to use such methods, not those with a reasonable case to offer. If one were to look at personal reasons why someone would take the activists' positions, though, shouldn't the possibility of their minds being manipulated by the parasite to spread itself, through dementia, be considered? It is hard to conceive of malice such as would wish to most effectively spread lethal disease to the maximum extent, and encourage the fast spread of drug resistance, and thus maximize the deaths, unless it were the parasite taking over their impulses.

urgent assistance said at August 15, 2005 10:42 AM:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,
I am Mrs konemicheal kone from kuwait. I am married to Mr Patrick kone who worked with kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2003.We were married for eleven years without a child.
He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.Before his death we were both born again Christian.

Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a
child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against.When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$2.5 million dollars in a bank here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire.Presently, this money is still in bank.

Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of nine months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a charity organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.
I want an organization that will use this fund for orphanages, school and church ,widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that "Blessed is the hand that giveth".
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers.
I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord.Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace".
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the security company here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire.
I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shephard. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth.
Please always be prayerful all through your life.
any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Hoping to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
YOURS IN CHRIST
micheal kone

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