EDITORIAL: Some secrets should be shared
Those with AIDS that have sex, donate blood must disclose disease
Since its earliest-known case in 1959, HIV/AIDS has killed about 39 million people. And although this disease is universally known, not many people know exactly what HIV actually is. HIV is a virus that can lead to the infection that is called AIDS. AIDS, which is an acronym for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the actual condition that is developed after HIV causes damage to the immune system. But despite a large majority of people who are unaware of the true definition and difference between HIV and AIDS, it is no secret that this disease is dangerous. With AIDS being the eighth leading cause of death for people between the ages of 25 and 34, the gravity of its detrimental effects are not lost on anyone.
And yet, despite the obvious severity of HIV/AIDS, it seems as though the Senate is attempting to dampen the gravity of this disease.
State lawmakers have proposed a new law that would reduce the criminalization of those people who have sexual intercourse without protection and refuse to disclose that they are infected. Instead of this act being a felony, it would only be considered a misdemeanor. But this would not be the only downgrade. This would also translate to those people with HIV/AIDS that donate blood or semen without alerting the blood or semen bank of their condition.
The lawmakers behind this law feel that by decriminalizing these acts, the stigma behind HIV and those who have HIV will be reduced. Sen. Scott Wiener (D-Calif.), who is a prominent supporter
Making it a felony for those infected with a serious disease to have unprotected sex without telling their partner about their disease is not an attempt to stigmatize those who are infected. It is merely
The lifetime cost of living with HIV/AIDS is about $379,000, and about 30 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are not insured. If the mere fact that having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV/AIDS spreads a deadly disease is not enough to make lawmakers take the condition seriously, then perhaps the aspect of money will. And perhaps once lawmakers realize that although you should not be discriminated against for having AIDS, you should not be able to knowingly spread it, forcing someone into this lifetime of debt and pain unknowingly with little to no punishment.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 149th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.