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Author Topic: Letter to the White House  (Read 180 times)

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Offline xman

  • Member
  • Posts: 312
Letter to the White House
« on: July 25, 2015, 01:14:15 PM »
shocked by the latest news in hiv criminalization cases like the sentence from michael johnson in missouri i decided to let hear my voice and wrote a letter to the white house using the form on the official site. the obama administration is the first that gives a chance to get in direct contact and leave comments or suggestions.

the letter i sent is the following (please ignore the spelling):

Hello,

please excluse me for my bad english.
I ask for your attention in the hope that an important issue will be addressed.
On July 13, Michael Johnson, an HIV positive man, was sentenced to 30 years in jail for exposing people to the virus.
I know that the White House cannot interfere with this particular case or make any public statements about the sentence, but hopefully
it can work for an update of the law in making it more compatible with the actual science and no more based on outdated informations,
limiting HIV criminalization cases and investing in prevention. There's evidence that current therapy is able to prevent transmission
and that people with the virus can lead a healthy and full live if adeguately treated. People should be educated and aware of this important facts.
My wish is that HIV positive people don't need to fear social isolation, discrimination and fear of criminal charges. We are now in a time where we
can treat the disease and manage it effectively. HIV criminalization fuels stigma and stigma increases HIV infections. People don't get tested and
don't seek the care they need.
In the case of Johnson my opinion is that the sentence was based more on prejudice than scientific evidence or facts. While I think that in some cases,
like a rape or forced sexual intercourse, transmission needs to be prosecuted, in most cases criminalization is a violation of human rights and indeed
very dangerous for public health. There's no evidence that it helps stopping transmission. On the contrary many facts suggest the opposite is true.
I am sure that the US government will address this issue. It is certainly a difficult task  but America has faced many challenges in the past and will
surely succeed on this one. I have great admiration for USA. It is an example of tollerance, freedom and democracy. It supports the powerless and those in need.
HIV positive people deserve more rights and while fears about the disease in the past were understandable they shouldn't be now with the tools available
and with modern medicine. HIV is now a chronic manageable disease.
Thank you so much for your time and attention.

Best regards,
xxxxxxxxx

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

i really don't know if letters like this will ever useful in changing the actual situation of hiv criminalization, care and/or prevention efforts. but staying in silence will not help either, for sure.
the united states are a great place but some states need to update the law and stop discrimination and prejudice against hiv positive people. it is the country most involved in hiv research and with biggest effort to stop and defeat this virus definitely. for this reasons it is painful to know that in some areas hiv positive people face criminal charges that outweight the actual danger of the disease which mutated from a terminal illness to a chronic manageable condition. criminalization is indeed warranted if there's a specific intent to infect (when such a danger is present, i.e. not on haart) or in case of rape.
i hope that sentences like the one for johnson will be revised and maybe cancelled in consideration of the latest advances in hiv therapy and prevention.
sign the petition launched by the aids policy project addressed to the nih aimed to increase the money needed to find the cure:

http://www.aidspolicyproject.org/petition_for_the_nih

we can make a difference and we need to fight. please support them! it doesn't cost you anything. they need it now more than ever!

Offline ianmx

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: Letter to the White House
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 07:10:16 PM »
i am new to the hiv thing and i applaud you for taking a step in something you feel strongly about. more people should do that.

however, i am curious. what is the general opinion. should people disclose their status with all sex partners regardless if the infected is undetectable and condoms are used? while that puts us as close to 0% possibility of transmission, does that also give as the right to put someone at a very minimal risk just for an orgasm?

just a little devil's advocate  ;)

ian
i haven't lost all my marbles, but there is a hole in the bag.

Offline xman

  • Member
  • Posts: 312
Re: Letter to the White House
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 02:03:21 PM »
i am new to the hiv thing and i applaud you for taking a step in something you feel strongly about. more people should do that.

however, i am curious. what is the general opinion. should people disclose their status with all sex partners regardless if the infected is undetectable and condoms are used? while that puts us as close to 0% possibility of transmission, does that also give as the right to put someone at a very minimal risk just for an orgasm?

just a little devil's advocate  ;)

ian

i always disclosed my status and will continue to do so. the problem is that the actual law is a deterrent for getting tested as you don't risk a criminal charge if you're anaware of your status. how this can serve public health is still a mistery. more testing leads to more care and less infections. this is the most critical part. hiv criminalization is wrong in most cases as it puts the responsibility only on one side. the result is that people avoid getting tested for fear of discrimination, job firing, incarceration and isolation. as long as we don't change this situation any prevention effort will be useless.
sign the petition launched by the aids policy project addressed to the nih aimed to increase the money needed to find the cure:

http://www.aidspolicyproject.org/petition_for_the_nih

we can make a difference and we need to fight. please support them! it doesn't cost you anything. they need it now more than ever!

Offline bocker3

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,648
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Letter to the White House
« Reply #3 on: Today at 07:51:17 AM »
i am new to the hiv thing and i applaud you for taking a step in something you feel strongly about. more people should do that.

however, i am curious. what is the general opinion. should people disclose their status with all sex partners regardless if the infected is undetectable and condoms are used? while that puts us as close to 0% possibility of transmission, does that also give as the right to put someone at a very minimal risk just for an orgasm?

just a little devil's advocate  ;)

ian

I think that the problem is that people seem to confuse the difference between Disclosure and Criminalization.  I personally think people SHOULD ALWAYS disclose prior to sex -- what I don't agree with is sending someone to prison if they do not.  Especially if no transmission occurs, though I don't think singling out HIV for "special" laws is the right thing to do even if transmission does occur.  For the record -- I beleieve that in some states, disclosure is not enough.  Simply having sex as a positive person can put you at legal risk.

More people die each year, in the US, from influenza than from HIV today.  When has anyone been arrested and charged for going to work, or riding the bus and exposing scores, if not hundreds of others to the flu, when all they needed to do is sit at home until they were better.

If someone is purposefully and recklessly trying to pass HIV to others, than are plenty of laws that could be used to stop them without making special laws with respect to HIV.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2015 969/28% <20

 


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