Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kansas could possibly quarantine their citizens who are living with HIV.

A current bill has been introduced into the Kansas legislative session that could potentially quarantine citizens in its state that are living with HIV. House Bill 2183 is the current bill that is proposing this policy. If this policy is passed, it could lead to a potential legal discrimination on those individuals who are living with HIV and take away their basic human rights. This is a bill that I feel is one that needs to be fought back against and never be passed in any state whatsoever. I volunteer my time at a LGBTQIA drop-in center with a focus on HIV prevention, so this subject strikes a personal cord in me. To think that a bill like this would be proposed in this day and age disturbs me to no end. I do so much education on ways to reduce your risk of HIV transmission  And I also do work with deconstructing negative stereotypes in regards to people who have HIV. So the fact that this is happening in this country feels like a big slap to the face with all the work I have been doing.

First off, in regards to this policy trying to be put into place, I would like to discuss the possible risks of getting HIV and showing why this policy is completely unnecessary. HIV is primarily transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids such as semen or blood. People can get HIV through having unprotected sex, exchanging blood that carries the HIV virus, or sharing needles with different people. HIV cannot be transmitted through: kissing, holding hands, sharing a toilet seat, hugging, or just breathing the same air with someone who is HIV positive. A lot of people believe that people can get HIV through the methods I just said are ways it cannot be transmitted. Individuals within our society, if educated, will understand that there is no need to quarantine people living with HIV. They are just normal, hard working, average day-to-day people you see anywhere.

Next, I would like to discuss how this policy, if passed, is something that is completely uncalled for. To me, when I first read about this policy, I thought if you replace the word "HIV" with another group of people, you can truly see the horrible reality of this policy. For example, if Kansas wanted to quarantine all gay citizens, would that be okay? If Kansas wanted to quarantine all black people, would that be okay? If Kansas wanted to quarantine all Jewish individuals, would that be okay? If Kansas wanted to quarantine all white people, would that be okay? Just replace the population of those living with HIV with any other population and you can see how there would be an uproar in the state of Kansas. I can understand that those who wrote this policy are interested in the safety of public health, however, this policy I feel is written out of pure ignorance and lack of knowledge on the subject. To quarantine individuals living with HIV, it would be a crime against basic human rights that everyone is entitled to.

So please, I urge you to show you support in fighting against this policy. The legislators in the state of Kansas need to let it be know that the citizens of this country will not allow such a discriminatory policy to be put into place. Also, if you are curious to know more about your risks for getting HIV and how the virus is transmitted, I recommended researching the matter and educating yourself. I would recommend talking to your local doctor, talking to professionals that deal with HIV related topics, or just simply find professional articles in medical journals. The more you educate yourself on the matter, the more you can understand just how unnecessary Kansas House Bill 2183 is.

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