For some of those who are younger who frequent Daily Kos, it may be hard to remember the way the world was in the middle 80s in relation to HIV/AIDS. Scary, uncertain and with no real understanding at least presented to the public, fearmongers hunted for everything from national quarantines to reporting systems of those who were infected.
But, thirty years pass, and we all move on.. at least I thought so.
MISSION, KS (KCTV) -In a victory.. of sorts, Kansas has decided against quarantines of those with HIV. Unfortunately, we decided that in a house session this week.. March of 2013.
A bill working its way through the Kansas Legislature is getting national attention. The original version of the bill would have allowed the state to quarantine people with HIV or AIDS.
The latest version of Senate Bill 2183 has lines through much of the text. The bill had to be amended after questions were raised as to whether those living with the disease had to be kept away from the general public.
It's a bit astonishing to think of the methods we have decided to use in relationship with treatment of a now known illness. Here in Kansas, our methods have ranged from removing access to condoms, limiting access to facilities that could provide them, preaching abstinence and demonizing gay people.
But, when that doesn't work, we can always turn to our state legislature to decide the appropriate medical path, considering their vast medical experience of.. ok, well, hmm.
"We're expecting that it will make it very clear that is never medically necessary or reasonable to quarantine or isolate someone with HIV or AIDS," she said.It can't be all that bad. I mean, come on.. it's 2013.
The initial language in the bill raised a red flag for Gary Brunk, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
"In some ways, this is a throwback to the early days of the HIV epidemic where people had crazy ideas about casual transmission of HIV," Brunk said.
But even with the new changes, Brunk is still unsettled.
"We remain concerned primarily because we think that this has a real potential for giving local health officials a tool to discriminate against people infected with HIV," he said.
“They didn’t get that whole idea of being discriminated against,” said Cody Patton, Positive Directions Inc. “And they didn’t get that that stuff still happens today. My concern is that there’s a lot of people in this state that are still fearful of HIV that don’t look at factual information.”The good news about Kansas is we are all about distributing scientifically factual information to patients from our legislators. Like our new legal requirement to tell women that abortion leads to breast cancer.
Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are currently working together to get this law passed, so expect them to vote on it in the next few weeks.
f the Kansas House of Representatives has its way, doctors will have to tell patients seeking an abortion that the procedure causes breast cancer. The Wichita Eagle reported on March 19, 2013 that House Bill 2253 passed the first round of votes. It is disturbing that this bill, if passed, will require doctors to give patients incorrect and misleading information. Other states, including Arkansas, have recently passed strict laws regulating abortions. If H.B. 2253 becomes law, other states may follow Kansas’ lead.So, having our legislature determine the appropriate instructions for people about HIV/AIDS from a crowd that has this profound access to medical knowledge seems like a good idea.