Georgia Lawmaker Suggests Quarantining People Who Are HIV Positive

Henrietta Brewer
October 22, 2017

Her remarks came Tuesday morning during a Georgia House of Representative study committee meeting about barriers to access to health care in the state, and are captured in video of the hearing.

During a committee discussion about the rise of HIV and discrepancies between the quality of treatment in different parts of the state, Georgia State Rep. Betty Price suggested quarantining residents with the virus.

State Rep. Betty Price questioned if people infected with HIV should be quarantined. ". I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in ... treatment of this condition".

Like her husband, who resigned last month as health and human services secretary following an outcry over his use of costly private planes for official travel, Betty Price is a doctor.

During his time as the most senior health official in the US, Mr Price proposed massive cuts to HIV prevention programmes.

Georgia was home to almost 50,000 people diagnosed with HIV in 2014, and had the second highest rate of new diagnoses among all states the following year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Georgia state lawmaker and former anesthesiologist represents people who live in the northern Atlanta area, and was asked in a hearing what the "legally able to do" to limit the spread of HIV throughout the state. "Are there any methods we could do legally to curtail the spread?" "This language coming from anyone is totally unacceptable, but coming from a medical doctor and a Georgia State Representative it is reprehensible".

Yeah, really frightening for all those people whose lives have been saved by medical advances that they're still alive.

According to the CDC, about 1.1 million people in the US were living with HIV as of the end of 2014.

The president has also quietly shuttered the White House Office of National AIDS policy, after the departure of its previous director.

She added that she was "disappointed and dismayed" that the hearing didn't include "a single presentation or a voice from the community, from people living with HIV, or from folks who have been actually victimized by these HIV criminalization statutes that we have in the state of Georgia". A 1986 ballot proposal in California would have paved the way for quarantines of people with HIV, although voters resoundingly defeated that proposal.

The group concluded the letter by saying that the resignation was not an easy decision, but one that must be made. "However, we can not ignore the many signs that the Trump Administration does not take the on-going epidemic or the needs of people living with HIV seriously".

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