Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

The Sickness of HIV Profiling
by IRENE MONROE
2006-08-01

This article shared 4322 times since Tue Aug 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In this conservative era of politics and religion, I have noticed how the animus toward people with HIV/AIDS has not abated although we are now at the quarter-century milepost of the epidemic being in the U.S.

One of the ways a health care initiative becomes enmeshed with conservative politics and moral intolerance will be the new HIV/AIDS prevention program mandating all public health authorities and agencies to report HIV-positive patients to the state.

With government funding for HIV/AIDS prevention shrinking more and more these days, many public health authorities and agencies will be requiring physicians to report to the state the name, social security number, age, address and date of birth of all HIV-positive patients. And many of these public health authorities and agencies will find themselves in the compromising position of either adhering to mandatory government-imposed HIV name listing or upholding the confidentiality of the clinician- client relationship.

I asked Dr. David Duong, a gay Vietnamese ER physician at Boston Medical Center, 'If it becomes mandatory that physicians report to the state patients who test HIV-positive, how might that impact the patient-physican clinical encounter?'

He replied that ' [ m ] andatory reporting of HIV-positive patients only engenders mistrust in the patient-physician relationship. This would potentially endanger both public health and individual rights. There are existing therapies and programs available to those with HIV. Due to the social stigma and risk of social and economic losses from a known HIV infection, these individuals would be less likely to seek testing, treatment and precautions in spreading the infection if doctors are seen as law enforcers more than patient advocates. To view that there is a conflict between public health and individual rights in mandatory reporting is not quite accurate. This view downplays the therapeutic nature of the patient-physician encounter in promoting both public health and patient well-being.'

Proponents of name-based reporting, however, contest that equitable funding and uniform accounting and tracking of the epidemic can be obtained that would allow for not only a better patient-doctor clinical encounter, but it would also allow for a more authentic representation of community-based education and management care.

However, public health authorities and agencies failing to comply will feel the government's punitive sting by substantial monetary lost.

Washington, D.C,. has a Sept. 30, 2006 deadline to comply or it will lose millions of dollars. And in my home state of Massachusetts, the Department of Health would lose $9 million a year and the Boston Public Health Commission would lose $6 million—money that is used for medication to meals to home healthcare.

The underlying motive, however, for this health care initiative is politically driven to both police and profile people who test HIV-positive—and the motive is not new.

In 1986, conservative political commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., suggested that the judicious way to keep account of those who were infected with the virus and vectors of transmission was to tattoo them on their buttocks and forearms, an act reminiscent of both American slavery and the Holocaust in which Africans and Jews, respectively, were tattooed and treated like animals.

But the people who would be most impacted by this government intrusion in their lives—LGBTQ people, IV drug users and people of African descent—are already the moral whipping boards for a morally intolerant society in denial about how the epidemic continues to grow at an exponential rate.

So I ask Duong: Given the fact that physicians must report certain communicable diseases how would reporting patients who test HIV-positive different and/or similar?

'HIV is separate from other reportable communicable infections in that there is no cure and that the medical and socioeconomic consequences of infection are potentially so devastating,' he stated. 'HIV infection is associated with already marginalized and discriminated populations. Reporting HIV-positive patients would further alienate and reinforce the vulnerability of these patients. The laws protecting HIV infected individuals are inadequate, while for other reportable diseases protections are not necessary due to their lack of stigma or their ease of cure,' Duong stated

And with this intrusion the epidemic would continue to soar rather than abate because the moral and ethical issues of patient confidentiality; their Fourth Amendment right to bodily integrity and unreasonable searches; and their Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy are all violated at the expense of our government funding unproven HIV/AIDS prevention programs. These programs convey the impression of restoring traditional family values rather than fielding scientifically proven ones that address the issue of HIV/AIDS prevention head on.

For, example, the present administration has done more to hinder the fight against AIDS than to prevent it by promoting an abstinence-only ideology, taking monies from proven disease prevention initiatives, denouncing the effectiveness of condoms and refusing to fund needle exchange programs.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said that, 'Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.'

And most shocking and inhumane is when a government continues to believe, in the face of hard evidence, that contracting the AIDS virus is a direct and divine consequence of engaging in a lifestyle that is fraught with both disease and sin—and that it will continue to devise and to justify various name-based approaches to erect its colonies for 'lepers.'

Once a government-imposed health care initiative such as this one is mandated for the sake of restoring traditional family values, we as a nation will have built our moral high ground by riding on the backs of our weak. 

And this is not only an act of inhospitiality and moral intolerance toward the targeted groups who test HIV-positive, but it is also a symptom of a sick society that tests negative for compassion.


This article shared 4322 times since Tue Aug 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HIV/AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton on her new memoir, 'Unprotected'
2022-05-18
Emmy-winning HIV/AIDS activist, author, minister, political organizer, motivational speaker, life coach, jewelry designer and social media figure Rae Clara Lewis-Thornton's recently released book, Unprotected: A Memoir, is already a pre-release ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Chocolate festival, lesbian sci-fi film, 'Smahtguy'
2022-05-16
—The Long Grove Chocolate Festival: The beloved Chocolate Festival will return to the historic streets and parkways of downtown Long Grove for the first time in three years, May 20-22. Chocolate lovers can experience so much—including ...


Gay News

WORLD Eswatini ruling, Toronto deaths, Greece, blood donations
2022-05-15
The High Court in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) rejected an appeal for legal recognition by the local LGBTQ+-rights group Eswatini Sexual & Gender Minorities, citing "laws … prevailing in the kingdom" ...


Gay News

Judge blocks part of Alabama law criminalizing care for trans youth
2022-05-14
On May 13, U.S. District Judge Liles Burke blocked part of an Alabama law that made it a felony to prescribe gender-affirming puberty blockers and hormones to transgender minors, USA Today reported. ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Dr. David Ostrow dies at 74
2022-05-14
Longtime researcher Dr. David Gene Ostrow, of Chicago, died unexpectedly on Feb. 16 at home. He was 74. The cause of death was end-stage renal disease, according to the Tribute Archive website. Ostrow was born on ...


Gay News

Pro-choice coalition to rally May 14 in Chicago's Union Park
2022-05-13
-- From a press release - 'Rally for Abortion Justice,' part of a nationwide 'Bans Off Our Bodies' day of action will takes place in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. on Saturday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m. The crowd may be 25,000 strong according to organizers. ...


Gay News

Judge: Dallas hospital must start gender-affirming treatment for trans youth
2022-05-12
In Texas, Dallas County Judge Melissa Bellan temporarily removed all barriers for transgender youth seeking medical treatments from Children's Medical Center Dallas—providing a major win for doctors fighting to restore ...


Gay News

Dance for Life returns to Auditorium
2022-05-12
-- From a press release - Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community, announces the program for its 31st annual fundraiser, Dance for Life 2022, which takes place Saturday, August 13 at 6 p.m. ...


Gay News

U.S. COVID-19 death toll exceeds 1 million
2022-05-12
One million Americans have now died from the coronavirus, according to an announcement President Joe Biden made May 12, according to ABC News. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is now equivalent to the population ...


Gay News

LGBTQ Religious Archives Network holds 'AIDS, Activism and American Christianity' webinar
2022-05-12
LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) held an "AIDS, Activism and American Christianity: A Conversation" virtual webinar on May 5. The event focused on Christian activism during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and ...


Gay News

U.S. Senate Republicans and one Democrat block abortion-protection bill
2022-05-11
On May 11, the U.S. Senate failed to advance a Democrat-led bill that would enshrine broad protections for legal abortion nationwide—a vote triggered by a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that indicates Roe v. Wade will ...


Gay News

HRC calls for passage of the Women's Health Protection Act
2022-05-11
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, joined a growing number of organizations calling for the ...


Gay News

Running squad 'Team to End AIDS' calls for participants to raise funds
2022-05-10
-- From a press release - (Chicago, IL) Over the last 19 years, TEAM TO ENDS AIDS (T2)—the only HIV charity fundraising marathon team in the Midwest—has raised more than $13 million for HIV/AIDS awareness and direct support for those living with ...


Gay News

Lightfoot, City Clerk Valencia announce partnership with UN Women
2022-05-10
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and City Clerk Anna Valencia announced a partnership with UN Women's Global Flagship Program, Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces. The initiative responds to sexual violence against women and girls ...


Gay News

Lightfoot announces a 'Justice for All Pledge' based on equity and access
2022-05-09
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined reproductive justice leaders to announce the Justice For All Pledge, in response to the leaked draft opinion by the majority of the Supreme Court of the United States ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.