HIV, Prison and the Justice System: The New Concentration Camps
Not only may laws like these discourage people from getting tested, but it may also discourage people, who are positive, from taking part in other kinds of preventive activities. If going to speak to someone at a health clinic and discussing with them your sex life and who you are involved with can trigger a criminal investigation, who in their right mind would welcome that kind of intrusion into their lives willingly?
The 5th amendment of the constitution allows for a person to withhold self-incriminating information; HIV laws are loop-holing around this by using the public health system in order to determine and remove who THEY believe pose a threat to the general public, simply because of a positive HIV status. With this idea in place there may as well be a pre-crime division within the police department, arresting people for their thoughts. In order to opine as to what someone who is HIV positive would do, once they’re aware of their diagnosis, is to ask yourself that question: Would you suddenly make it your full time objective to infect as many people as you could? Studies show that most people with a positive status actually become more conscious of their health.
It would be foolish to think that there aren’t instances where a person knows their status is positive and still acts irresponsibly, having unprotected sex. But when you talk about sex, the concept of legal and consensual sex, excluding sex taken by force, incest and molestation, there are two consenting individuals involved during a the act.
Whether that act is protected through condom use or not, the choice is made by both parties. In order to maintain the quality of life we are all entitled to, a sense of self worth and personal responsibility must exist. YOUR status is YOUR responsibility, so the onus of asking the “unromantic” but necessary questions about a perspective partner’s sexual health history falls on YOU. In 2011, with all of our advancements in medical care, a positive status doesn’t have to mean a death sentence; but in the eyes of the law, it certainly can mean a life sentence.