Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-06-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Effort to enforce HIV 'health threat' law raises questions
From a University of Michigan News Service release
2013-01-30

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


ANN ARBOR—Michigan health officials are using HIV surveillance technologies to assist in enforcing a "health threat" law that makes it illegal for HIV-positive people to have sex without disclosing their status.

A new University of Michigan study reveals that health officials employ the state's names reporting database, alongside partner services referrals, for law enforcement purposes. However, this is bad social policy for a variety of reasons, says Trevor Hoppe, the study's author and a doctoral candidate in sociology and women's studies.

When clients visit publicly funded health clinics in Michigan to be tested for HIV, they can expect more than just a finger prick or blood draw. Counselors also ask clients extensive questions about their sexual practices and partners.

If the client tests positive for HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, the counselor will provide treatment referrals. They are also legally mandated to ask clients to report the names of sexual partners, which health officials attempt to contact to recommend that they be tested.

Hoppe found that some health officials also ask their clients if any of their partners reported to them that they were HIV-positive. Officials then attempt to cross-reference the reported name against the state's database of everyone in the state who has been diagnosed as HIV-positive. If an individual reported as a partner is identified by the state as HIV-positive and the client did not report that they disclosed, an investigation would be launched that could have legal ramifications.

At least 24 states have laws making it a misdemeanor or felony for HIV-positive people to have sex without first disclosing their status. In Michigan, failing to disclose is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison—whether or not the person was ever at risk of contracting the disease from their partner.

"The evidence is mounting that these laws are bad public policy and certainly bad public health policy, yet Michigan health officials are helping to enforce them," Hoppe said.

At the minimum, there is little transparency in how health officials use epidemiological data for law enforcement purposes, he says.

"Health officials in some local jurisdictions are using data they collect for public health purposes to help enforce the law, but they're not telling their clients how their personal information could be used," Hoppe said.

From an ethical perspective, the question is whether it is reasonable for health officials to use confidential medical information to enforce the law.

Hoppe interviewed 25 local health officials who manage "health threat" cases from 14 jurisdictions across Michigan. His research also reveals that how local health officials interpret what qualifies as a "health threat" varies. In some cases, local officials suggested that an HIV-positive woman who became pregnant or contracted another STI might be labeled a "health threat."

"These systems were not intended for legal surveillance, yet data collected by them are susceptible to being used for criminal proceedings," Hoppe said.

Whether this practice should be continued must be discussed among policymakers, advocates and stakeholders, including those in the HIV-positive and —negative community, he said.

The findings appear in the February issue of the journal Social Problems.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

BOOKS Rebecca Makkai on 'The Great Believers,'Chicago, Paris and AIDS 2018-06-20 - More than half of The Great Believers takes place in Chicago during the height of the AIDS epidemic. As someone without first hand ...


Gay News

Run Forward at the 37th Annual Proud To Run 2018-06-15 - Chicago, Ill., June 12, 2018 — The 37th Annual Proud To Run, a 10K/5K run and 5K fun walk, will be held on ...


Gay News

Men & Women in Prison Ministries to observe National HIV Testing Day June 27 2018-06-15 - In honor of the 23rd National HIV Testing Day, Men & Women in Prison Ministries ( MWIPM ) will launch the "Stigma Stops ...


Gay News

Walgreens offers testing for National HIV Testing Day June 27 2018-06-14 - DEERFIELD, Ill., June 13, 2018 - Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, are ...


Gay News

DIFFA/Chicago marks 30th anniversary 2018-06-14 - Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS ( DIFFA )/Chicago marked its 30th anniversary June 9 with a gala, "DIFFA XXX," at the Modern Wing ...


Gay News

CDC report show mixed results for youth on HIV, STDS 2018-06-14 - June 14, 2018 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC )'s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summary on the ...


Gay News

"Pink Orchids" post-show discussions on HIV planned through June 2018-06-09 - Chicago — Pride Films and Plays has announced a series of discussions in conjunction with its American premiere of PINK ORCHIDS - a ...


Gay News

Eleven agencies receive Red Ribbon funds from Illinois Lottery 2018-06-07 - The Illinois Lottery and Illinois Department of Public Health distributed funds from the Red Ribbon Cash lottery ticket to 11 agencies working on ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN sue Defense Dept over outdated policies on HIV 2018-05-30 - ( Alexandria, VA. May 30, 2018 ) — Today, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed a lawsuit on behalf of a sergeant in the ...


Gay News

AFC releases HIV/HCV Drug Guide 2018-05-23 - AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) has released its HIV and Hepatitis C Drug Guide. Each year, AFC conducts a review of ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.