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Author Topic: UPDATED****ONLY TWO DAYS TO CALL OR WRITE - READ THIS!!!!  (Read 2594 times)

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Offline emeraldize

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« on: February 02, 2011, 06:25:38 AM »

UPDATED: I did call.  IF you want to call/write anyone, call ONLY the senator's office. Also, please know that there is a faction at work in Nebraska challenging this bill. The State agencies are not permitted to take a stance in the matter and don't know why their names were attached. However, if/when they are called about the situation, they do give out accurate HIV transmission information that reflects what CDC, doctors and we already know about HIV.

Thanks to Newt (Matt) we've learned of this upcoming legislation being considered in Nebraska: Please call and/or write

go here: if you want to access the link to the full bill's wording, otherwise, read on.....

 Tuesday, 1 February 2011
US: Urgent action required to fight unscientific, stigmatising Nebraska Bill that will criminalise body fluid assault on public safety officers
This Friday, February 4th, the Nebraska State Legislature will debate The Assault with Bodily Fluids Bill which would criminalise striking any public safety officer with any bodily fluid (or expelling bodily fluids toward them) and includes a specific increase of penalty to a felony (up to five years and/or $10,000 fine) if the defendant is HIV-positive and/or has Hepatitis B or C.

The Bill ignores the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted through spit, urine, vomit, or mucus; punishes the decision to get tested for HIV; and will not keep public safety officers safer, but rather will reinforce misinformation and stigma about HIV.

Two major problems with the Bill are:

1. The proposed language in Sec. 2(3) is contrary to science

•None of the actions criminalised in this Bill pose a real risk of HIV transmission. Spitting while HIV-positive poses no risk of HIV transmission. The Centers for Disease Control has unequivocally stated that spitting cannot transmit HIV. Other “body fluids” identified in the Bill - including mucus, urine, and vomit, absolutely cannot transmit HIV.
2. Codifying the breach of doctor /patient confidentiality in Sec. 2(5) is extremely serious, and should not be undertaken with no public health benefit

•It is extremely important for public and individual health for people with HIV to get tested at the earliest opportunity, start timely treatment, and stay on treatment. This all hinges on having a good relationship with their doctor or health care provider. Forcing doctors and health care providers to reveal private health information, or even testify about it, will have a negative impact on patient trust of the health care system and willingness to remain engaged in HIV care. The plain language in Sec. 2(5) would force any person charged under this statute to be tested for the identified viruses, or force the opening of their medical records for previous testing results.
The Positive Justice Project (PJP) has produced a set of talking points (download here) that summarises the problems with the Bill, and with HIV-specific legislation in general.  PJP highlights that the wording of the Bill is so broad that it would allow for the following Kafkaesque situations:

•If a person with HIV accidentally vomits in the direction of a medical officer in a prison infirmary, they could be sentenced to five more years in prison.
•If someone accidentally sneezes in the direction of a police officer, a judge must grant a court order for their medical records and they may be subjected to involuntary HIV antibody and hepatitis B and C antigen testing if the police officer decides to press charges.
•An inmate who spits or vomits in the direction of a corrections officer, even without hitting or intending to hit the officer, can be forcibly tested for HIV and hepatitis and if found to have any of these viruses, charged with a felony.
•An adolescent with HIV or hepatitis held in a juvenile detention facility who spits while being restrained by a corrections officer, or while arguing with a guidance counselor, could wind up serving five years in an adult prison facility.
PJP asks anyone in the United States who cares about this issue to contact their State representative (using the talking points to highlight the many problems with the Bill) and specifically encourages any networks or individuals in Nebraska to contact:

State Senator Mike Gloor, who introduced the Bill.  
District 35
Room #1523
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2617
Email: mgloor@leg.ne.gov

« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 03:52:12 PM by emeraldize »

Offline emeraldize

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 03:52:41 PM »
the above post was updated.

Offline leatherman

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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 05:43:13 PM »
I fired off an email and called Mr. Gloor's office. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline emeraldize

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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 08:29:05 PM »
Excellent! Thanks so much for doing that, Mikie.

Offline leatherman

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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 09:22:06 PM »
you know me  :D and I know you. ;)
You usually post for good causes with good links - and always with good data or a good sample of what needs to be said. It takes so little effort or time to send an email or make a call - and yet enough of those reaching a legislator's office really does make an impact. Each email or call is factored by a multiplier to estimate a certain amount of citizens concerned about the same matter. Unlike a vote that may equal one-to-one, a phone call into a Senator's office (state or federal) can equal 100 or 1000.

a little off topic from your main topic, but those are the guidelines that I'm using for a local project. Now that I'm part of the SC HIV Task Force and we have an ADAP waiting list issue here in SC, I've started a letter writing campaign at my ASO. (and a website to go with it http://reigningpages.com/schiv_campaign) At social events, in the waiting room of the clinic, at client advisory board meetings, etc, from local college sororities and fraternaties, high school civic volunteer groups, my own friends and family, I'm eliciting letters (perferablly handwritten or just signed copies) from sample letters I have constructed. Each month I'd like to get as least 10 letters a month (of course, more is better but some if good) educating our state legislators about the ADAP issue. Rather than concentrating all of our efforts into a one-time shot like a rally, I'm hoping that a steady monthly trickle of letters will slowly keep the pressure on, while better educating our political leaders on why ADAP is needed. (you know, to keep people medicated and alive ;) LOL)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline emeraldize

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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 08:15:29 AM »
Thanks Mikie. If you haven't already, you might want to create a separate thread for that issue. Will out-of-state letters have any weight? If so, I would be happy to write.

Offline emeraldize

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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 08:17:18 AM »
The Center for HIV Law and Policy had this Nebraskan-related post of the legislation and talking points. The hearing was to have taken place this past Friday. I'm trying to learn the outcome, but haven't come across anything yet and may have to call the senator's office.


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