ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Sex, Lies and HIV: When What You Don’t Tell Your Partner Is a Crime

People with HIV have been sentenced to years or even decades in prison for having sex without telling their partners they’re infected, even when they practiced safe sex. Are these laws a deterrent to spreading the virus or could they actually fuel the epidemic?

« Return to Story

Sort by: Oldest Newest  <  1 2

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 5:43 p.m.

My point was not really that I wished that on anyone—but that it is the inevitable consequence of making decisions based on superstition and guesswork.

(Though I do still consider taking a profession of HIV-positive status to be a health-protecting reason to avoid contact to be an act of pointless bigotry.)

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 5:46 p.m.

lolll..@:Seer “Clearly” re

your spam posts have put this forum under moderation, perhaps that’s what you wanted to avoid having to face the facts you have been ignorning

I have copies of your posts; I conclude that the moderation of your comments was done as a favor to the LGBT communities and for the benefit of those who have had the misfortune of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS as the unknowing might have taken them to be representative of the thinking - and moral outlook - of both (and not necessarily intersecting) sets of human beings.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 16, 2013, 5:54 p.m.

ibsteve2: You can’t argue with the science: http://tullyspage.blogspot.com/2013/02/swiss-hiv-study-confirmed-in-canada.html
Note the link to the conference proceedings in case you feel tempted to disregard the blogger himself.  In simple terms, this means HIV is a treatable as any chronic condition like diabetes.

These results clearly imply:
1) The stigma on HIV has to be removed so people get treatment and are therefore not transmitting the virus.
2) Advertising avoiding HIV+ potential partners does the exact opposite by keeping people from announcing their status to others, or to themselves… and therefore not seeking treatment.
4) Punishing people for being HIV+ and having sex does the same thing: these laws need to be completely removed from the books.
3) Requirements for notification are meaningless if there is no risk (as was the case in this story.) 

If there is something to fear, it’s the ignorance and the fear itself that is spreading this disease by turning HIV+ people into pariahs.

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 5:55 p.m.

Actually, considering the posts that were deleted, neither of you set it off. Though the fact that you believe this to be in some way a moral issue, as if confessing one’s diseased pariah status will magnificently protect that morally and immunologically healthy, is the real obscenity.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 16, 2013, 5:56 p.m.

OK, I give up.  You can’t have a discussion if the moderator is misusing his power.

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 5:59 p.m.

I don’t think there was any abuse. I made a couple of excessively vindictive remarks, and the moderator deleted them and moderated the discussion. Totally appropriate.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 6:10 p.m.

@QNetter:  Your Though the fact that you believe this to be in some way a moral issue, as if confessing one’s diseased pariah status will magnificently protect that morally and immunologically healthy, is the real obscenity. says more than you intend.

I don’t believe that the average human being would agree that one should dispense with the best scientific knowledge - in this case, the results of a test designed to detect HIV/AIDS after a scientifically valid interval has passed between the individual’s last sexual contact/blood transfusion/needle stick and the submission of the blood for testing with no further sexual contact/blood transfusions/needle sticks in the interval after the test and before having sex with the prospective partner - available in order to cater to anyone’s despair over a self-declared “diseased pariah status”.

There is a joke I heard a long, long time ago:  “Do you know why the universe invented AIDS?  So those with herpes could say ‘Well, at least I don’t have AIDS.”

I would recommend that anyone who feels themselves to be “condemned” to a “diseased pariah status” begin making the effort to think “Well, at least I don’t have stage 4 pancreatic cancer.”. 

Further, they should stop thinking that they’re so damned special; they’re not the only ones in the HIV/AIDS boat, and if sex and/or a relationship is your priority rather than interrupting the transmission chain of the virus, then Google is your friend…typing “AIDS support groups [insert your state here]” into a search box doesn’t seem like an extraordinary amount of work.

Not to me, anyway.

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 6:24 p.m.

The notion that very many people will wait till after a “scientifically valid interval” to have any sexual activity is a dangerous fantasy.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 16, 2013, 6:38 p.m.

ibsteve2u: People who don’t want to believe they’re HIV positive, or don’t want to think about it because it makes them feel bad about themselves, or haven’t gotten tested because they’re too afraid of the results… all don’t go to support groups.  Remove the stigma, and you remove the barriers to treatment.  This was true for everything from leprosy to syphilis (which by the way was just as much or more of a scourge than HIV is today when it was stigmatized and not treatable.)  Many of your prescriptions show the lack of understanding that betrays a lack of personal experience with the situation.  Understandable, but most people in your situation would have the good sense not to giving out advice :)

By the way the 0.0% transmission rate among serodiscordant partners that was documented in the studies I gave the link to above is also ‘the best scientific knowledge’ just as an HIV test used to be.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 6:59 p.m.

Interesting argument, Seer “Clearly”...

In rejecting the concept that individuals who know that they have HIV/AIDS should warn prospective partners of a facet of “reality” that may place their life in danger, you essentially demand that society tell people who knowingly pass along HIV/AIDS that society approves of their infecting as many sexual partners as they can until such time as they feel “comfy” with getting treatment.

Given that some percentage of the 1..10…100…1000….10000…100000…who knows how many who are newly infected will die because that one individual prioritized his or her emotions and physical gratification above the lives of everybody else in society, could society at least require that the individual(s) who knowingly start or continue such fatal chains attend their victims’ funerals while wearing a sandwich board saying

<b>Hey, I had fun!”<b>

?  So that the survivors could pat themselves on their backs and congratulate each other for their…understanding…of the need to prioritize the sign-bearer’s emotions above the life of their loved one?

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:05 p.m.

First, the notion that there is only approval or disapproval is nonsense. There is also non-judgment.

Second, we have largely been talking about people who HAVE been getting treatment. And, as the numbers show,m that treatment, NOT disclosure, is what leads to non-transmission.

But you’d rather sling around scare terms… “die”... “life in danger”... which are entirely irrelevant.

My husband of seventeen-plus years has been HIV-positive for that entire time. My life has never been in danger, no matter what your fear-mongering insists.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:24 p.m.

ibsteve2: Your latest missive sounds more like your true agenda - to make this into a morality argument, not a scientific one.  The problem is that morality hasn’t stopped school shootings, teen pregnancies, divorce, the decline of education, child abuse, terrorism, and most importantly despite the effort of certain religious and political groups, it hasn’t slowed the transmission of HIV one iota.  Time to try something different. 

Remember, as long as you sit in judgment of others, you aren’t seeing clearly because truth is sacrificed on the altar of being right.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

@Qnetter, who said

My husband of seventeen-plus years has been HIV-positive for that entire time. My life has never been in danger, no matter what your fear-mongering insists.

The way you phrase that - specifically, your saying “entire time” - suggests that your husband made you aware that he was HIV-positive before you got married.

Is that true? 

If it is true, then is your personal experience even relevant to your insistence that HIV- and AIDS-positive individuals be allowed to have sex with whoever, wherever without warning their prospective partners and without any legal repercussions for that act of involuntary manslaughter/murder (depending upon your perspective, of course)?

If your husband had not warned you up front and you had contracted HIV and/or AIDS, would you be…angry?  Would you or your descendents/estate want him to be held accountable if you were well and thoroughly dead as a consequence of his intentional avoidance of his responsibility to warn you?

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:39 p.m.

Yes, of course it’s relevant. There was no reason for a decision to be made, and if I had stupidly and out of misguided fear and uninformed moral superiority decided to “protect” myself, I would have hurt him, myself, and many others for no good reason.

You ask “if your husband had not warned you up front and you had contracted HIV and/or AIDS, would you be…angry?” But you might as well ask if my husband had not warned me up front and I had turned into a unicorn—because it is as statistically likely. Dead, manslaughter, murder… none of those words apply in any way here other than as scare tactics and moral panic tools. It’s time you tried living in 2013 instead of 1987.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:50 p.m.

@Seer “Clearly”, who says ibsteve2: Your latest missive sounds more like your true agenda - to make this into a morality argument, not a scientific one.

There is a moral element to knowing that you have HIV or full-blown AIDS and having sex with someone without warning them of that fact.  The fact that you believe - and publicly argue - otherwise is precisely what drives some to see a need for the creation of laws to replace the moral judgement that you deny a need for.

And secondly I am relying strictly upon science…upon an irrefutable fact:  If you avoid having sex with someone who has HIV or AIDS, you will not contract HIV or AIDS from that individual (assuming you also do not share needles with or transfuse blood from that individual).

But if you do not tell someone that you know that you have HIV or AID…or if you deny having HIV or AIDS when you know that you do…just to ensure that that someone will not turn you down on the scientifically-provable hypothesis that they cannot contract HIV or AIDS from you if they do not have sex with you, then science has a term for you, too:  Sociopath.

I’d note that the definition of sociopath

a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

also doesn’t mention morality.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:55 p.m.

@ibsteve2: When you use the word “allowed” to describe a situation in which nobody has any control over the circumstances (and punishment via legal means is NOT a means of control as should be apparent to you amply in the world around you) what you are talking about is *morality* implemented by *authority*, not sound public policy.  Punishment is not effective public policy, no matter how much you want it to be.  Plus, it sounds pretty unconstitutional to me anyway - across more than one amendment.

Not to mention your proposed contract violates the terms of HIPAA, the health insurance portability and accountability act.

With respect to your comment to Qnetter, he might indeed be angry that someone infected him.  However there is no gawd-given right for citizens of this country not to feel angry (which is really a covering emotion for helplessness), despite the entitlement that many people seem to feel to that effect.  The human psyche isn’t necessarily rational in how it manifests feelings, but feelings aren’t a basis for public policy, they’re a basis for revenge or punishment.  Not being willing to feel helpless has put us in three wars in the Middle East, we don’t need one at home!

In fact, if Qnetter was that angry at his possible future partner, you’d have to balance it against the possible sense of loss and despair he might have felt at never having had his partner in his life in the first place if you’re going to make arguments based on hypothetical futures.  As you can see, this is a useless, dangerous spiral of blame rather than a sound basis for reducing HIV infections.

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:57 p.m.

“There is a moral element to knowing that you have HIV or full-blown AIDS and having sex with someone without warning them of that fact.”

“Warning.” We warn people of danger, or risk. When there is no appreciable danger, no appreciable risk, all we are doing is disclosing irrelevant judgment fodder. I might as well warn you that I showered this morning with deodorant soap and if you are allergic you’re at risk, or that I had shrimp last night for dinner and on the off-chance there’s a bit stuck in my teeth and you’re allergic, you’re at risk.

“If you avoid having sex with someone who has HIV or AIDS, you will not contract HIV or AIDS from that individual (assuming you also do not share needles with or transfuse blood from that individual).” And if you DO have sex with an individual with undetectable viral load, you won’t either.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 16, 2013, 7:59 p.m.

ibsteve2: where you fall off the rail is confusing personal responsibility (which is a moral imperative) with public policy… which is what is necessary to prevent HIV transmission   Preach all you want about morality, but it cannot be made into law in a constitutional manner.  Witness the downfall of DOMA, a sheer waste of time that inflicted horrific suffering on many people until the courts got around to invalidating it.  And morality is truly a personal journey: if you want to change people’s attitudes about it, you’ll have to be the change you want to see in the world.  Yet here you are advocating the abolishment of personal responsibility by replacing it with punishment.  Avoiding punishment is not personal responsibility, which involves making a choice based on inner convictions.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 8:08 p.m.

Since I see people are excluding those facts that they find to be inconvenient to their arguments, I refer the reading public to the Centers for Disease Control

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/prevention/research/art/

from which I quote

Evidence from observational studies among heterosexual populations1-4 and men who have sex with men (MSM)5 suggests that effective ART may greatly reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission from infected individuals to their sexual partners.

while noting that “reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission” is no more equal to “eliminate the likelihood of sexual transmission” than “50%” is equal to “most”.

And I further note this quote from the same page:

The risk of sexual HIV transmission is substantially reduced for individual couples in which the infected partner is on effective ART and has achieved undetectable plasma HIV viral load, but is not completely eliminated. Sexual transmission of HIV may still occur when the infected partner is on effective ART.

The page and its contents were last reviewed by the CDC on April 15, 2013.

If you review

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/heterosexual_transmission_1667_23387.shtml

you will find the first paragraph says

According to a recent review of multiple studies, heterosexual serodiscordant couples have an almost non-existent risk of HIV transmission if the HIV-positive partner has an undetectable viral load as a consequence of successful antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Policy (NATAP) reports. Presenting their findings at the Third International Workshop on HIV and Women in Toronto, researchers pooled data from six different studies of serodiscordant heterosexual couples, including the famous HPTN 052, which found a 96 percent risk reduction due to ARV therapy.

96%...not 100% - which is reason enough for many to want to know the HIV/AIDS status of potential partners…to have a right to know, IMHO.  And of critical importance is the included caveat that the risk of transmission is tied to a decrease in risky behavior - and so non-promiscuous “couples” expose the non-infected partner to less risk than those who are promiscuous or who have sex with promiscuous individuals face.

I would submit to the reader that a demand for the right to avoid telling potential partners that they already have HIV or AIDS is prima facie evidence of intent to be promiscuous.

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 8:14 p.m.

A 96% reduction of extremely little risk results in virtually no risk. 4% of a tiny number is a teeny tiny itsy bitsy number. 

Unless you really believe the protocol of “wait till three months after your last sexual contact, test, wait for the result” is realistic—in which case you’re clapping for Tinkerbelle—the risk from someone who got a negative test today is statistically higher than from someone who is HIV-positive and undetectable.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 8:24 p.m.

I reiterate:  The reason that this is becoming a matter of public policy is because there are those who repeatedly declare that they have no moral imperative to tell potential partners that they know that they have HIV or AIDS…and because there are those who insist that they are entitled to strip others of their right to decide what is more risk than they are willing to accept.

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 8:31 p.m.

Your claim is a tautology, that it is a moral imperative because it is a moral imperative. We have illustrated over and over again that, unless you both reduce the amount of sex you have in the absolute AND put unrealistically strict controls over the choice of partners, avoiding a partner who is HIV-positive in no way reduces your risk. But you’re chosen to stick your fingers in your ears and scream moral panic.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 16, 2013, 8:32 p.m.

I think I’m done here…is plenty for the reader to think about, whether they focus on science or morality and ethics (and the ramifications of the lack thereof).

And, oddly enough, freedom of choice…and who is entitled to it.

Other things to do and all that.

QNetter

Dec. 16, 2013, 8:37 p.m.

Just as with the so-called “school choice” that is accelerating the destruction of public education and the so-called “health care choice” that drives up costs without driving up the quality of care, this “choice” with no positive result is a feel-good for the chooser, choice for choice’s sake.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 16, 2013, 8:38 p.m.

ibsteve2, I don’t believe you are genuinely interested in truth or logically determining the consequences of your position.  Instead of asking questions and trying to assess why someone has a different position than you do, you’re simply defending yours.  You’re not responding to facts and data, for example, but instead cherry-picking alternative facts that support your position of punishment and moral judgment.

By the way ‘promiscuous’ is a relative value judgment, based on circumstances like upbringing, religion, ethnicity, national origin, etc.  It’s not a basis for public policy.  You can be in agreement with the people in your church about it, but you can’t expect the world at large to bother with your opinions about it.  Your assertion that not telling somone your status is evidence of promiscuity is an appeal to judgmental moralism of others you suppose are reading your articles, but it’s not logical.  It could just as well be someone’s wish not to be rejected by someone they’ve fallen in love with (a common story, actually.)

The CDC’s website is simply out of date - seems current for about 18 months ago.  The link I gave you above has the latest research results.  You won’t get anywhere citing old public information when it can be superseded with newer peer-reviewed studies.

Because of liability concerns, doctors will never tell you to take a risk, even if its vanishingly small.  A corollary to that is that if a possibility exists that they could be held liable, they won’t base their recommendations on current research.  However as a person taking personal responsibility for your health, it’s your responsibility to inform yourself.  The CDC’s website suffers from these ‘degradations’ of actionable information filtered through a bureaucracy.

So regarding the risk, which from the now-out-of-date former serodiscordancy study on the CDC site, 96% reduction of the risk from the base transmission rate of less than 1-3% is a very small number, considering it’s per measurement period of one year.  But as you point out it’s not zero.  This information is the basis of the recommendation that people take responsibility for their health and not rely on someone else to take care of it for them, especially since the ‘other’ person is not privy to accurate information themselves.  In any event, you probably take risks of similar levels every day, including driving in a car, eating carcinogenic or athersclerosis-inducing foods, smoking, or various sports.  It is the fear factor that somehow turns the risk of HIV into a bogeyman while dying in a motorcycle accident is a risk accepted by most without that level of paranoia.  The current studies are showing 100% risk reduction.  At that point, while it may be morally distasteful to not share your status, you are not committing any violation of the other person, unless they hold uninformed and bigoted opinions.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 17, 2013, 10:41 p.m.

avoiding a partner who is HIV-positive in no way reduces your risk [of contracting HIV/AIDS]

Interesting assertion.  Any attempt to use science to prove the logic behind that statement is destined to fail, I fear.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 17, 2013, 10:54 p.m.

ibsteve2: thought you were done here?  The logic behind Qnetter’s statement is infallible: 1) you can’t know who’s poz and who’s not; and 2) those who avoid who they think is HIV positive end up having different (less safe) sexual behaviors with them thinking they’re safe from infection.  Combine the two and you have a high rate of transmission. 

You’re looking at it as some kind of logical experiment where A + B = C;  Qnetter and I know the statistics and understand that human psychology is involved, and the results are 180 degrees from your ivory tower musings.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:01 p.m.

I just happened across one of Stephen Colbert’s most insightful sayings, “Reality has a decidedly liberal bias”.  This oh so applies to ibsteve2’s maunderings.  Try as he might, he can’t use his swiss-cheese logic to bend reality to his moralistic will.  The *measurements* of the actual circumstances always prove him wrong - much like global warming deniers.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:15 p.m.

re:  You’re looking at it as some kind of logical experiment where A + B = C;  Qnetter and I know the statistics and understand that human psychology is involved, and the results are 180 degrees from your ivory tower musings.

No, you’re using Wall Street’s way of thinking:  Prioritizing your self-gratification above every individual’s right to avoid more risk than they wish to assume.

And just like Wall Street’s rationale for rejection SEC oversight of securitized instruments, you’re slinging the “Oh, its too complicated for you to understand.” and “We’re not subject to the constraints of ethics and morality; we’re just supposed to make money for our investors.”

Seer Clearly

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:20 p.m.

It’s not possible to have a rational discussion with you because you:
1) Change the subject (as you just did) when you’re proven wrong, a tiresomely boring tactic of the far right, really the only one left when reality interferes with the point you’re trying to make
2) Interject your assumptions about who you’re talking to into your weak attempts to prove your points (you know nothing about me except my assertions, which you have yet to show any evidence of understanding)
3) You talk about science but your arguments are all based on morality, which has no place in this discussion at all.  Something’s not morally to your liking?  Don’t do it.  That’s the solution, not forcing your dysfunctional and inapplicable so-called morality on others. If you want your scientific arguments to be accepted, use scientific arguments, not moral ones, otherwise you will continue to be summarily dismissed.
4) You suffer from the towering hubris of assuming that you are right, which is only outmatched by your inability to deal with the arguments that show you are not.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:24 p.m.

I forgot a fifth point about why it’s not possible to have a rational discussion with you:
5) When you can’t defend yourself against the facts, you announce that you’re “done here” make it look like you’re leaving.  This is the tactic of a 3 year old taking his marbles and going home to avoid losing the game.  But because the fight itself is what juices your ego, you are unable to tear yourself away from the pointless conflict you are creating.

QNetter

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:29 p.m.

ibsteve2u: Not sociopathic, or even uncommon, behavior - just reality. Your math only works if the choice is between having sex N times with a partner who is HIV-positive and medicated to undetectability and not having sex at all on those N times. That is an unlikely and unrealistic choice.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:41 p.m.

You’re dabbling in two different games, QNetter:  You’re referring to sex in a committed relationship.  “Seer Clearly” is insisting that he has the right to withhold the fact that he is HIV+ from casual sexual partners.

Seer “Clearly”:  I departed last night because I had other things to do last night.  In light of your additional comments - which are clearly designed to confuse the reading public - I issued rejoinders.

All of the rest of your last two comments?  lolll…you accuse me of being a member of the right, but your ability to replace logic and fact - or to take logic and fact out of context - is surprisingly reminiscent of Fox and/or Wall Street’s talking heads….

Which, I don’t have to point out, are not known for prioritizing what is beneficial to the American people and our society over the self-gratification of a few.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:42 p.m.

It’s choice when you lecture me on reality considering that you’re looking at it through the lens of morality rather than science or medical fact.  However the logical barrier you haven’t surmounted remains: you can’t guarantee to get good info from your partner on HIV status, and if it makes a difference to you, you are playing unsafely and not taking responsibility for your health.  You didn’t address this at all, speaking of unlikely and unrealistic LOL  

The only time you CAN get good info from your partner is if he or she tells you that they’re HIV positive, and that they’re on medical treatment.  You are not focusing on the choices you can make if you receive that known-good information, as opposed to your fear/bigoted choice to pressure your sexual partner to tell you they are HIV negative.

QNetter

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:47 p.m.

“You’re dabbling in two different games, QNetter:  You’re referring to sex in a committed relationship.” No, I’m saying that the choice is not between an HIV-negative person having sex with ten HIV-positive partners who are medicated to undetectability and not having that sex—it is much more likely between that person having sex with ten HIV-positive strangers who are medicated to undetectability and having sex with ten strangers who report that they are HIV-negative believe it to be true. The latter carries much higher risk.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 17, 2013, 11:55 p.m.

ibsteve2: The favorite technique of the right is to accuse their opponents of using the very tactics they have developed for distorting reality.  So you managed to supply that approach as reason (6) why a rational discussion with you is not possible.

If you had the “reading public” truly at heart, you would have addressed the medical study references I gave you oh about 20 messages ago, instead of trying for thousands of words to work your way around them.

And for your probably unlikely illumination, I don’t advocate witholding HIV status.  I have never done it myself, even under situations where what you call my “gratification” was at risk.  In fact, from a spiritual perspective, honesty about those things that make you vulnerable is going to create a much closer bond with someone you want to develop intimacy with. 

However, I do assert that punishing people for not disclosing is ridiculous, to the tune of probably 20 logical and factual points that myself and Qnetter have made, and you have totally ignored with the exception of weak efforts to distract from them. 

What’s fascinating is that your duality-limited thinking seems to find that the only alternative to punishing people for not disclosing is encouraging them not to disclose.  This is a limitation in your thinking that keeps you from seeing truth, be it about public policy or about my convictions.  Qnetter also pointed this out to you: there is a vast swath of consciousness between extreme polarities, but you can’t seem to access it.  It’s like having a 100-channel television and only being able to recieve two channels.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:07 a.m.

What’s fascinating is that your duality-limited thinking seems to find that the only alternative to punishing people for not disclosing is encouraging them not to disclose.

What is fascinating is you continue - as you have from the start - to insist on your right to deprive others of their right to limit their risk of exposure to HIV.

Your argument that it is “better” to allow people to actually expose others to HIV than it is to risk the possibility that they will expose others is…nonsensical.

QNetter

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:09 a.m.

But your assertions about risk assessment are totally bogus.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

(7) Duality-limited thinking prevents seeing the obvious and stifles productive discussion.

I have never suggested that people be “limited” in a “right” (which is not a right by the way, look the word up: discrimination is not a right!) to limit their risk of exposure.

The answer is so simple: use a rubber!  Seroselection doesn’t work.  That’s why I vehemently oppose it.  It’s a means to *promote* transmission, not to mention promoting stigmatization which increases the risk of having sex with someone who doesn’t know their status. 

What you’re advocating is bigotry, plain and simple.  It’s always had only one outcome: the promotion of ignorance and fear.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:18 a.m.

I hope the reader asks themselves a key question:  Why have some used the decrease (as opposed to elimination) in the probability of contracting HIV/AIDS from an individual when that individual is undergoing treatment as an argument both for allowing HIV-positive individuals to conceal their HIV-positive status…yet they have carefully avoided the other scenario:  HIV-positive, but not undergoing treatment?

What do you suppose their view is on legal penalties for that, even greater, breech of morality?

ibsteve2u

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

Seroselection doesn’t work.  That’s why I vehemently oppose it.  It’s a means to *promote* transmission, not to mention promoting stigmatization which increases the risk of having sex with someone who doesn’t know their status.

So what you’re saying is that you’re representative of a community (of at least one) that would likewise see a positive result as no reason to seek treatment?

QNetter

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:23 a.m.

Your last point is as sensible as “2+2=red”.

QNetter

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:25 a.m.

I don’t believe in the notion of “concealment”—either you actively mislead by lying, or you don’t. Whether or not you disclose has no material impact on the risk across a body of activity.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:27 a.m.

Qnetter: what you see repeatedly when you are trying to have a productive debate with someone whose personal identity is conflated with their dogma, is that as you dissassemble the dogma bit by bit, their ability to process their environment degrades.  ibsteve2 is no longer able to discuss this topic cogently, as his ego is grasping at irrational arguments in a last ditch attempt to preserve its form.

This man is obsessed with a dictatorial morality that brooks no non-absolutes, and is unable to process a situation in which there are no absolutes.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

QNetter:  I don’t believe in the notion of “concealment”—either you actively mislead by lying, or you don’t. Whether or not you disclose has no material impact on the risk across a body of activity.

You and “Seer Clearly” have been…enlightening.  Where once I pitied those who are infected with HIV/AIDS, now I fear for those who are not, for you have taught me that some number of those infected with HIV/AIDS hold that they have the right to conceal - or actively mislead, or lie, or whatever obfuscation you prefer - their HIV-positive status.

Before any disease can be transmitted, a vector must exist…and what you argue so vehemently is that you have the right to not only be vectors, you have the right to conceal that fact from future hosts.

Self-aware vectors…a frightening thought.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:43 a.m.

HIV positive but not undergoing treatment:  why would someone do that?  As a former HIV awareness counselor, the reasons I came across are:
1) Doesn’t know they’re HIV positive.  This state is often arrived at because the person is uninformed as to high-risk activities, either because they are in the closet and not reached by messages created by health authorities, or because they are so terrified of discovering that they might be positive and face ostracism that they simply don’t get tested.
2) Unable to get access to adequate health care.  This is the result of Republican-led policies that have continuously eroded funding for HIV education and treatment because HIV is “bad” and so people who are at risk or infected are also “bad” and should be “punished”
3) Self-hatred.  Many gay men as well as other people who allow or even choose to get infected are dealing with deep feelings of worthlessness, often created or reinforced by being part of a group that society thinks is “bad” and should be ostracised.  Abusive family situations are often the root cause of these beliefs.
4) Doesn’t want to admit that they are HIV positive: they may know it but simply put it out of their mind because accepting it would mean ostracism.
5) Believe that HIV is not as serious as it usually turns out to be if untreated, or don’t trust the medical community because HIV treatment options have been presented in a moralistic and judgmental fashion, often tied to forced lifestyle changes in order to receive treatment.

The common thread I saw was self-judgment as a result of external judgment heaped on these people by their friends, family, institutions, or the media that gave them the message that they were somehow defective, less-than, or worthy of punishment and ostracism.

These are exactly the messages that ibsteve2 is promoting.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:47 a.m.

ibsteve2: you seem unable to solve a problem without blaming someone for it.  From a psychological perspective, blame is caused by the inability or fear of feeling shame.  Essentially, blame is shame projected outward.  What is the shame that you are denying?  It’s powerful enough to make you completely irrational, as for example your conclusion that being opposed to punsihing people for spreading HIV means someone would also believe that positive people should avoid treatment.  The complete irrationality of that conclusion says that there is an elephant in your livingroom that you simply cannot bring yourself to see.

ibsteve2u

Dec. 18, 2013, 12:47 a.m.

re:  HIV positive but not undergoing treatment:  why would someone do that?

Might as well ask “HIV positive but concealing that fact from prospective partners:  why would someone do that?”.

You’re good advertising for Louise Hogarth’s The Gift.

Seer Clearly

Dec. 18, 2013, 8:44 p.m.

ibsteve2: since you like to talk about the “reader”, you should re-read this thread to see exactly WHAT the “reader” will pick up from it.  Your constant refusal to answer questions or respond to information others post , while always returning to replacing fact with moralizing should be evidence enough to dissuade any reader from your point of view - whatever it may be since it seems mostly to be focused on demonizing myself and Qnetter for focusing on disease prevention rather than punishment.  By the time the reader gets to point #7 of why you can’t participate in a rational debate and reads how you fall off the rail in the “2 + 2 = red” assertion, you’ve pretty much torpedoed yourself. 

I *hate* it when these forums become a discussion of another person’ personal failings, but you have forced that by steadfastly making it about the participants instead of the facts.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Get Updates

Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.

optional

Our Hottest Stories

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •