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Why wasn't/isn't AIDS quarantined?

Old 11-27-04, 10:32 PM
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Why wasn't/isn't AIDS quarantined?

This was a discussion my family got into over the holidays. (Yeah we're a rowdy bunch )

In the days of polio and tuberculosis the government quarantined many communicable, fatal diseases.

When the first cases of AIDS popped up, when little was understood about it, why didn't they quarantine it?
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Old 11-27-04, 10:54 PM
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Because usually AIDS doesn't manifest until years after aquiring HIV and we didn't have an HIV test until after the disease was already widespread.
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Old 11-27-04, 10:56 PM
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I don't think AIDs infection rates really matched that of highly contagious diseases so there wasn't really a need to quarantee people. But thankfully, blood donations were finally being screened. But IIRCC, gay men still can't donate blood so that may be one attempt at a quarantine I suppose.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:04 PM
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but wman

I mean AFTER a person had been diagnosed, why weren't they quarantined?

Why were they allowed to go back out into the public, not required to tell ANYONE (unless by their own conscience) that they had it?
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Old 11-27-04, 11:09 PM
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Re: but wman

Originally posted by mosquitobite
I mean AFTER a person had been diagnosed, why weren't they quarantined?

Why were they allowed to go back out into the public, not required to tell ANYONE (unless by their own conscience) that they had it?
Because people have civil liberties?
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Old 11-27-04, 11:12 PM
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Yeah, it's not like doctors can put a warning tag on people with known diseases.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:12 PM
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they didn't have civil liberties in the 20's?

What about the people it was passed to? Don't they have the right to know?
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Old 11-27-04, 11:12 PM
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I'm not talking about a warning tag - I'm talking about sending them to the TB hospital...
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Old 11-27-04, 11:14 PM
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Do you watch ER?

It's brought up frequently on the show. People get sick and die, but the "right to know" debate is still alive.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:16 PM
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no, I don't watch ER.


Here's another suggestion, why not mark the person in some way that people in the workplace/public can't see (like in the groin area) so there's no discrimination - but someone about to have sex with them knows?
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Old 11-27-04, 11:23 PM
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Originally posted by mosquitobite
they didn't have civil liberties in the 20's?
I'm not sure we want to take our cue from the 20s, regarding civil liberties.
Originally posted by mosquitobite
What about the people it was passed to? Don't they have the right to know?
They do, but there is disagreement over whether it's the government's place to inform them, as the infected patients also have a right to privacy. The government can inform everyone of the possible risks and what precautions can be taken to minimize them. Oddly, many of the pro-quarantine crowd were not too keen on that one.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:27 PM
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Originally posted by mosquitobite
Here's another suggestion, why not mark the person in some way that people in the workplace/public can't see (like in the groin area) so there's no discrimination - but someone about to have sex with them knows?
the doctor's job is to treat the person in his office, not protect his patient's sexual partners.

Consider cases in other countries such as China when SARS was a big concern. At one point, the Chinese government was making threats to kill anyone that spread the disease in any way. Though an extreme example, its roots go to people's beliefs of what the government is responsible for.

I'll paraphrase Harry S. Truman - when a government is efficient, it's a dictatorship.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:30 PM
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so it IS the government's responsibility to teach kids to use birth control/condoms. It IS the government's responsibility to tell me I HAVE to wear a seatbelt. It IS the government's responsibility to stop drinking and driving because someone else may get hurt. But involve someone with a life threatening communicable disease and suddenly it is not the government's right to stop the spread of it.

It's reasons like this that I lean libertarian. Who exactly gets to decide WHEN we use the government and when we don't?

I brought the question up more as a discussion to see the different viewpoints and play devil's advocate. I don't have a strong position one way or the other.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:45 PM
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Originally posted by mosquitobite
But involve someone with a life threatening communicable disease and suddenly it is not the government's right to stop the spread of it.
Stop it how? Modern-day leper colonies?

Your line of reasoning seems to me the very antithesis of libertarianism, but maybe I'll let one of our resident libertarians address that.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:54 PM
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I believe this is done in Cuba.
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Old 11-27-04, 11:57 PM
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as I said I don't HAVE a line of reasoning, I was simply asking WHY the government didn't do something to stop, or at least slow the spread of the disease early on.

My dad's argument is that the disease was politicized. Since in the beginning there were only 2 classes of people that got it: homosexuals and IV drug users.

If you quarantined people you labeled them.

I meant I lean libertarian because while I like conservative philosophies, half the time conservatives might not be in power. Just as the liberals aren't happy now that conservatives are in power.

It's just easier to say "don't give the government power to do anything if you're going to have so many double standards"

It's the governments job to protect us from ourselves...
no wait... it's not the government's job to protect us from ourselves.


**warning: contents may be hot**
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Old 11-28-04, 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by mosquitobite
so it IS the government's responsibility to teach kids to use birth control/condoms. It IS the government's responsibility to tell me I HAVE to wear a seatbelt. It IS the government's responsibility to stop drinking and driving because someone else may get hurt. But involve someone with a life threatening communicable disease and suddenly it is not the government's right to stop the spread of it.

It's reasons like this that I lean libertarian. Who exactly gets to decide WHEN we use the government and when we don't?
I think libertarians (and some conservatives) are very strong believers of personal responsibility, I don't think they would have a problem teaching children basic safety - look both ways before you cross the street, don't talk to strangers, etc. AIDS still is a sexual disease so I'd think that libertarians and conservatives would say, hey, when y'all were kids, we told you not to **** around and now you have STDs? Oh well, we tried, it's your problem now.

Originally posted by Gallant Pig
I believe this is done in Cuba.
Yes, I've also heard of UN health reports praising Cuba's healthcare program. Good for them.
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Old 11-28-04, 12:46 AM
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Since in the beginning there were only 2 classes of people that got it: homosexuals and IV drug users.
I don't want to open a can of worms, but in the US it is still that way for the vast majority of cases.
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Old 11-28-04, 01:27 AM
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well, while there could be some pluses it would also discourage people from being tested.
plus it's not that hard to avoid now that blood is screened before being used by doctors
here's an idea. don't fuck people that haven't been tested
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Old 11-28-04, 01:52 AM
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There are other communicable STDS besides AIDS.
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Old 11-28-04, 08:18 AM
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Because 1) It isn't communicable through casual contact nor is it airborne.
2) Because if you started rounding up the AIDS victims and sending them to some remote area, people would stop getting themselves tested.
3) It's cheaper to educate people than it is to treat them like lepers or cattle.

This was the dumbest question I've heard since the last dumb question I heard.
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Old 11-28-04, 12:51 PM
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People should simply have common sense and use condoms if they just hook up with someone, as in a one-night-stand, etc. Nothing wrong with one-night-stands.

If a serious relationship develops, both parties should go and get tested before skipping the condoms.
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Old 11-28-04, 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by wmansir
I don't want to open a can of worms, but in the US it is still that way for the vast majority of cases.
Women Represent Nearly Half of HIV/AIDS Cases Worldwide
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medi...p?newsid=16865
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Old 11-28-04, 02:17 PM
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but in the US
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Old 11-28-04, 05:27 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Trigger
Because 1) It isn't communicable through casual contact nor is it airborne.

I'd say that's the main reason. People are quarantined today for highly contagious and lethal illnesses such as Ebola and SARS. In such cases, they are very dangerous public health risks if they are let into the general population. It isn't the same way with HIV, as an infected person sitting in the same movie theatre as you won't cause a massive outbreak.
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