Archive for Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gay rights advocate has quarantine concerns over proposed changes in infectious disease law

March 14, 2013


— A proposal by the state health department could result in the quarantine of people with AIDS or HIV, the leader of a gay and lesbian rights group said Thursday.

"There is no reason why anybody with HIV or AIDS should be subject to quarantine," said Tom Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition. "This is a civil rights issue," Witt told the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

But Paul Marx, an associate chief counsel with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said there would be no medical reason to isolate or quarantine a person infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS.

But Marx added, "I can't say that would never happen, if the virus were to mutate." He added, however, "That is hugely speculative."

The dispute is over House Bill 2183, which clarifies procedures on testing a patient for communicable diseases when a health care worker has been exposed to that patient's blood or bodily fluids.

Witt said he supported efforts to protect emergency personnel, but said one of the changes in the bill would remove a current provision that exempts those with HIV or AIDS from possible quarantine.

KDHE officials said they want to remove that exemption because HIV and AIDS are infectious.

"KDHE is very sensitive to the concerns expressed by Mr. Witt. There is no intent, no desire to discriminate," Marx said.

The committee took no action on the bill.


Steve Jacob 5 years, 3 months ago

Interesting. I remember a guy here a few years back was found guilty (not sure the exact charge) of having sex with a few women without condoms knowing he is HIV positive. I hope that is still law, if it is, I see no reason to quarantine.

gatekeeper 5 years, 3 months ago

You can't quarantine thousands of people because one idiot had sex without condoms. That's like saying because idiots break the law and text and drive, we all lose our cars.

smileydog 5 years, 3 months ago

if HIV mutated and was spread through the air, or by mosquito, i am sure the government would step in to protect the population at that time.

Tomato 5 years, 3 months ago

Only one baby has been cured and he received treatment within a couple of hours of birth. Unfortunately, it's not a "cure" for everyone. They used the same drugs that they normally use to treat HIV, but because the child was not old enough to have developed certain blood cells, the HIV was theoretically eradicated.

Here's the problem: 1) Won't work on adults; 2) There are some ethical concerns with researching the infant cure because at what point do you decide to take the kid off the drugs and see if HIV pops back up.

This particular child was cured quite by accident because his mother had issues and stopped giving him the drugs for a period of time.

Katara 5 years, 3 months ago

Are they going to bring back the leper colonies too?

Terry Sexton 5 years, 3 months ago

Misread that, thought you wrote Lemur colonies, but that would call for a snap decision.

Katara 5 years, 3 months ago

I assumed it was voluntary unlike the other one who made the same bet.

cateastrophe 5 years, 3 months ago

Is this bill proposing the quarantine of all people with AIDS and HIV to their homes or is it related to hospitals/emergency situations only? I can't imagine the reasoning behind this since the disease is only spread through blood and bodily fluids ... If they want to protect emergency personnel then pass a requirement that they wear or carry some sort of identification that shows they have the disease, like people with diabetes do (obviously for the patients protection in that case but still).

denak 5 years, 3 months ago

Did anyone even bother reading the bill before they started running around flapping their arms claiming the sky is falling? It's only 2 pages long.

This article is nonesense. And by article, I mean the LJWorld article. The word "quarantine"only appears once in a long lists of procedures to take or possibly take in the case of a health worker coming in contact with blood, tissue or organs. There are thousands of such protocols in place throughout this country in hospitals,clinics, research labortories and schools. This is not aimed at margelinizing or discriminating against individuals with HIV or AIDS. This is about how best to protect out health workers, firefighters, corrections officers, law enforcement officers, teachers and anyone other professionals who routinely come in contact with the bodily fluids of other individuals.

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years, 3 months ago

It doesn't take more than two pages to make a big change, denak. Let me simplify it for you, it only takes the word isolated, or quarantine being written one time. What don't you understand? It is an affront to fellow humans with a disease, based on folks just like you with skewed moral judgementitis. KSA 65-6003 covers public safety quite nicely.

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